Digging Out

It was a white Christmas for the Gayville-Volin area, thanks to the storm that dropped upwards of 20 inches of snow on many parts of the region.

But according to one resident, it wasn't the snowfall that was the problem.

"It was the blowing and drifting that was really bad," said Missy Taggart, Gayville resident and employee of CorTrust Bank.

As in the surrounding area, the drifting in Gayville and Volin made travel virtually impossible, and saw snowplow drivers working overtime to get the roads cleared.

"I talked to Dick Putnam from the town, and he said he had moved snow for 17 hours (Saturday), and he was still trying to move (Sunday)," Taggart said.

Volin had similar snow removal issues.

"I don't know what kind of effort they had, but (Volin was) dug out by … Saturday afternoon," said Volin Postmaster Doug Riediger. "Then they must have worked all day Sunday moving it out of the main area in the thoroughfares. …

"There must have been quite a few people, because there was no way one little tractor could have done what they've got accomplished," he said.

Some snowdrifts in Volin reached nearly five feet tall, Riediger said.

"Darn things were hard," he said. "You try to drive over it, you're just going to get on top, and then sink in and be buried."

Despite these efforts, some areas were still inaccessible early this week.

"You're still not going to get out to the dump by the county line," Taggart said.

And even though the roads are passable, some of them still have big walls of snow on either side.

Many houses have limited accessibility, as well. Taggart said a path had to be cut to her front door, and that snow still reaches "over my head."

"We couldn't get out by our place at all," she said. "They had had to come down with a payloader to scoop it out before we could get anywhere.

"Up where I live, we don't have anything blocking us," she said. "We're up by the school, so we have the whole football field open in front of us. So for me to judge is hard, because our road always blows shut. But here in town like this, I haven't seen it like this — and I've been in town 10 years."

The snow started falling Wednesday night, and the communities took precautions to ensure that no one would get stuck in their cars or stranded at work as a result of the storm.

"They actually closed (the bank) here on Thursday," Taggart said. "I was supposed to be here until Thursday noon, and they said, 'Nope, you're closing.' So they were just going to have the bare number of people out and about."

No snowfall totals were available, but Riediger said they are probably similar to those of the surrounding counties. Yankton recorded 20.5 inches, and a Vermillion location reached 23 inches.

"I've heard different rumors," he said. "I've heard people say 24 inches, I've heard some say more."

Drifting is a continuing concern, he said.

"If we don't get a crust (on the surface), this stuff could blow," Riediger said. "If we do get a crust, the next one won't take quite so long (to dig out) with the ditches all full."

With no snowfall predicted until Sunday, Reidiger said, "It's the cold that's going to get us now."

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>