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Cold snap freezes Custer

Carrie Moore
Published: Thursday, December 12th, 2013

While chilly temperatures are common in December, nothing could have prepared Custer County residents for the extreme cold snap that descended upon the area Dec. 4-8.
According to Katie Cojorlie, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Rapid City, temperatures dipped to a low of -21 during the five-day snap.
“This weather is below normal for Custer,” she said. “Normal highs this time of the year are 34 degrees and lows are 14.”
The cold snap began Wednesday, Dec. 4, with a low of -11 and a high of 7,  forcing the weather service to issue wind chill advisories. Thursday, Dec. 5, saw a high of 5 degrees and a low of -17 while Friday saw a high of -1 and a low of -21. 
Over the weekend, temperatures increased to 1 degree on Saturday before dropping to -14 overnight. Sunday saw a high of 13 and a low of -10. Freezing fog was also a problem for those traveling.
The 24th annual Custer Christmas Parade was cancelled after the Custer Fire Department voiced its concern for the safety of the participants and spectators. 
Construction on the 8th Street bridge slowed, but the contractor did attempt to work, according to Rich Zacher with the Department of Transportation (DOT).
“DOT snow removal operations are commonly changed when extreme cold prohibits salt from effectively melting snow and ice,” he said. “Snowplow operators change to sand to provide some traction. Otherwise, we have not experienced any issues due to the cold temperatures.”
Many Custer residents cancelled hair appointments since they didn’t want to get out in the cold and some even cancelled veterinarian appointments to keep their animals from going outside. 

While chilly temperatures are common in December, nothing could have prepared Custer County residents for the extreme cold snap that descended upon the area Dec. 4-8.

According to Katie Cojorlie, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Rapid City, temperatures dipped to a low of -21 during the five-day snap.

“This weather is below normal for Custer,” she said. “Normal highs this time of the year are 34 degrees and lows are 14.”

The cold snap began Wednesday, Dec. 4, with a low of -11 and a high of 7,  forcing the weather service to issue wind chill advisories. Thursday, Dec. 5, saw a high of 5 degrees and a low of -17 while Friday saw a high of -1 and a low of -21. 

Over the weekend, temperatures increased to 1 degree on Saturday before dropping to -14 overnight. Sunday saw a high of 13 and a low of -10. Freezing fog was also a problem for those traveling.

The 24th annual Custer Christmas Parade was cancelled after the Custer Fire Department voiced its concern for the safety of the participants and spectators. 

Construction on the 8th Street bridge slowed, but the contractor did attempt to work, according to Rich Zacher with the Department of Transportation (DOT).

“DOT snow removal operations are commonly changed when extreme cold prohibits salt from effectively melting snow and ice,” he said. “Snowplow operators change to sand to provide some traction. Otherwise, we have not experienced any issues due to the cold temperatures.”

Many Custer residents cancelled hair appointments since they didn’t want to get out in the cold and some even cancelled veterinarian appointments to keep their animals from going outside.

Available only in the print version of the Custer County Chronicle. To subscribe, call 605-673-2217.



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