Portions of closed interstates reopened

PIERRE, S.D. (Press Release) – Officials opened the closed portion of Interstate 29 from Watertown to the North Dakota border at 9:30 a.m. today.

Winds are still high and while the Interstate is open, the roadway is icy, snow-packed and slippery.

Officials opened Interstate 90 at 7 a.m. this morning between Wall and Mitchell.

Officials also want motorists to be aware that travel on other state highways in that northeast corner is still very difficult. Please avoid travel if at all possible until the wind speeds reduce and DOT snowplow crews are able to make the roadways safe for travel.

Motorists are cautioned to remember winter driving conditions still exist across the state and to slow down, keep the cruise off and give plow drivers room to work.

Drivers are reminded to check safetravelusa.com/sd or call 5-1-1 before travelling this morning to view conditions, No Travel Advisories and roads that are still marked as impassable.

If you are travelling today, the departments of Transportation and Public Safety recommend motorists 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 5-1-1 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