PIERRE, S.D. (Press Release) – Interstate 29 is closed effective immediately from the North Dakota border to Watertown, both north and southbound lanes.
Interstate 90 is closed from Wall to Mitchell effective immediately, both east and westbound lanes. While visibility is improving west river, there are limited accommodations east of Wall.
Travel across much of the state remains extremely difficult to impossible on both the interstate and other state and local highways. DOT crews and state troopers are reporting heavy drifting, stuck vehicles, snow-packed and icy roads and zero visibility. Winter maintenance is suspended in many areas due to visibility.
Officials strongly encourage anyone who has plans to travel east of Wall to stay where you are as there are very limited accommodations east of Rapid City.
Officials are cautioning travelers that strong winds with gusts up to 50 mph across the state this afternoon into Sunday morning will continue to make travel hazardous and has prompted numerous No Travel Advisories.
Department of Transportation maintenance crews have been out since 4 a.m. and those that have not already been pulled off highways will be brought in off highways at nightfall.
Motorists are asked to stay put and change any travel plans, especially in the northeastern part of the state until tomorrow.
Motorists should visit www.safetravelusa.com/sd or call 511 to check the latest road conditions and travel advisories before travelling Monday morning. Conditions will be updated around 7 or 8 p.m. tonight and then again Monday morning between 4 and 5 a.m.
If you must travel in other areas of the state, the departments of Transportation and Public Safety recommend travelers also take the following steps.
- Wear your seatbelt
- Travel during the day
- Drive with your headlights on (not daytime running lights) so you can be seen by other motorists from the front and rear
- Don’t use cruise control on icy or snow-covered roads
- Use highly traveled roads and highways
- Keep family and friends informed of your travel schedule and route
- Call 511 or visit safetravelusa.com for road conditions
- Keep a winter weather survival kit in your car. The kit should include blankets, warm clothing, water, energy bars, a flashlight, a distress flag, a shovel and matches
- Travel with a charged cell phone, but don’t rely on it to get you out of a bad situation
- Change travel plans as weather conditions warrant
If you do get stranded:
- Stay in your vehicle
- Run the engine and heater about 10 minutes an hour to stay warm
- When the engine is running, open a window slightly to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Periodically clearing snow from the exhaust pipe will also help prevent carbon monoxide buildup
- When it’s dark outside, turn on the interior light so rescuers can see you
- Put up a distress flag, or spread a large colored cloth on the ground to attract attention from rescuers