Wind gusts that exceeded 60 mph Wednesday caused no severe damage, though speeds could rocket higher today in some parts of northeast South Dakota.
There were no reports of notable fires or severe wind damage Wednesday, a great relief to emergency managers who were concerned about fire danger when there is dry vegetation and high winds.
"I'm relieved that my pager hasn't gone off," said Charlie Russell, emergency manager in Dickey County, N.D. "Everyone has paid attention (to the warnings), and so far we haven't had any issues."
The highest recorded wind gust in the region was 63 mph in Mobridge at 3:04 p.m., said Ryan Kleffman, meteorologist at the National Weather Service Office of Aberdeen. Top speeds in elsewhere were: 58 mph in Gettysburg, (2:30 p.m.), 56 mph in Bowdle (3:50 p.m.), 55 mph in Faulkton (3:55 p.m.), 51 mph in Leola (4:40 p.m.), 48 mph in Aberdeen (12:11 p.m.) and 40 mph in Andover (4:10 p.m.), he said.
They were all northwest winds, Kleffman said.
But northwest winds are expected to be as strong, if not higher, this afternoon, with sustained winds between 30 to 40 mph in Aberdeen, with gusts around 45-55 mph, Kleffman said.
Sustained winds from 30 to 45 mph, with gusts between 55 and 70 mph are expected today in several counties including Campbell, Walworth, Edmunds, Potter, Faulk, Dickey and McPherson, according to the National Weather Service website.
Although he was happy Wednesday was uneventful, Russell said he is still bracing himself for the possibility of an emergency happening today.
The wind had an effect on truck drivers and others who traveled long distances on the highway.
Don Neifer of Aberdeen and owner of Longhorn Trucking was refueling at the Starlite truck stop after he drove through winds more than 35 mph hauling grain from Lebanon to Mina Wednesday morning. He decided against taking any more trips Wednesday afternoon.
He was concerned with the safety issues inherent with driving a large truck against the wind, but the effect it had on gas mileage was the biggest problem for him, he said.
"This, right here, is why I'm stopping," Neifer said, pointing to the diesel pump.
Lark Baldwin of Aberdeen, who just finished a grain transfer from Aberdeen to Mina, talked about the challenges the high winds create for truckers, poor fuel mileage being his biggest concern.
"My readout showed me getting 1.2 miles per gallon driving into the wind," he said. "With diesel at $4.19, well you figure it out."
Baldwin has 27 years of experience as a driver, so he said he knows the importance of paying attention. It's especially dangerous when truckers are moving past a patch of trees, he said. The trees block the wind, but as the truck emerges on the other side, the wind hits hard, so it's easy to lose control, he said.
Baldwin, who spent Wednesday making transfers from Northville to Mina, said he's seen trucks tip over, though it hasn't happened to him.
Aberdeen residents seemed mostly unfazed by the wind. Mike Wagner, who was eating dinner at the Palm Garden, said Wednesday was cold, but wasn't bad because he expected the wind. He was happy that it rained because it might have been very dusty otherwise.
Aberdeen received 0.41 inches of rain through Wednesday morning, according to the National Weather Service website.
Gary Dixon of Aberdeen was eating at Marlin's Roadhouse with his friend Ray Lout as he talked about the weather. Dixon said it was fairly cold, but he'll be pleased if this is the worst it gets.
"Feels like winter is coming, but next month we'll be tickled to have it this nice," he said.