PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Departments of Transportation and Public Safety have opened the closed portions of Interstate 90 and Interstate 29 in both directions.
Officials are advising motorists that even though the interstates are open, driving conditions are still difficult across the eastern part of the state. The blizzard warning for these areas remain in effect until 6 p.m. CST tonight.
Roadways are ice covered, snow-packed and slippery, and continue to experience drifting in open areas, and at bridge ends and overpasses. Visibilities are low to near zero with continued wind gusts up to 50 mph and white-outs happen without warning. High-profile vehicles especially will have difficulty travelling and should postpone travel until the winds go down.
Crews are out clearing drifts, but with the low temperatures and high winds, chemicals are ineffective at melting ice. No Travel Advisories will remain posted on portions of the interstate and many other state highways until winds go down and the storm system passes through the state.
Travelers are encouraged to postpone travel until this storm system exits the state. Anyone choosing to venture out today is asked to use extreme caution, take your time, reduce speed, avoid distractions, wear your seatbelt (all occupants), keep the cruise off, physically turn on your headlights so you can be seen, be prepared for changing conditions, and allow extra space between you and the car in front of you.
SDDOT snowplows crews are out working and motorists are reminded plows travel at 25 mph or less and to stay eight car lengths behind the plow to allow ample stopping time on icy roadways. Never pass in a snow cloud and remember, they are clearing the road in front of you.
Be sure to visit www.safetravelusa.com/sd or call 5-1-1 to check the latest road conditions and travel advisories before heading out.
If you must travel, the departments of Transportation and Public Safety recommend travelers also take the following steps.
If you do get stranded:
– 30 –