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Power restored in Mitchell as sloppy March storm arrives

About 1,807 NorthWestern Energy customers in Mitchell woke up without power Wednesday morning.

As a spring-winter storm began its path through South Dakota, a large section of Mitchell was without power, but crews were out on scene and were able to completely restore it at 8:10 a.m.

A NorthWestern Energy spokesman said crews will still be working to ensure power stays on in the impacted areas, which were in the northern and western areas of the city.

Tom Glanzer, with NorthWestern Energy, said a transmission line was the cause of the outage. He suggested weather was the likely culprit. The outage began at 7:18 a.m.

A confirmed outage was also impacting Letcher, where 194 customers are still without power as of 8:20 a.m. The estimated time of repair is 10 a.m.

Rain began falling Wednesday morning in Mitchell, where a dense fog advisory also has been issued. The National Weather Service in Sioux Falls is predicting 1 to 2 inches of rain in Mitchell with this storm, which has caused concerns over flooding.

Rain will eventually switch over to snow on Thursday, according to the NWS, with ice and snow totals reaching 2 inches. The wind is expected to pick up Thursday evening as the forecast calls for gusts as high as 50 mph.

To the west of Mitchell — in areas such as Chamberlain, Wagner and Winner — is a winter storm warning. That central-South Dakota region is expected to receive heavy ice conditions.

Due to the weather, Gov. Kristi Noem has closed state government offices in 39 central and western counties Wednesday.

The counties are Beadle, Bennett, Brown, Brule, Buffalo, Butte, Campbell, Charles Mix, Corson, Custer, Dewey, Edmunds, Fall River, Faulk, Gregory, Haakon, Hand, Harding, Hughes, Hyde, Jackson, Jerauld, Jones, Lawrence, Lyman, McPherson, Meade, Mellette, Oglala Lakota, Pennington, Perkins, Potter, Spink, Stanley, Sully, Tripp, Todd, Walworth and Ziebach.

Officials are monitoring the storm closely and evaluating whether further state-office closures might be necessary.

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