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February 03, 2011 06:21 PM

Drivers Stranded Hours On Interstate 29

Summit, SD

Crews spent the day clearing out more than 150 vehicles stuck along a 10-mile stretch of Interstate 29 Thursday. Most of them were between the Wilmot and Sisseton exits.

People started getting stuck Wednesday night and the state closed the road around 6:30 Thursday morning. By 9:30 in the morning, search and rescue crews had reached every car and truck and found no one who was hurt.

Some of the stranded travelers stayed with their vehicles while others were taken to warmer locations.

One place rescuers took stranded drivers was the gas station at the Summit exit. But some people waiting there Thursday morning had been waiting on the interstate all night.

Talbert Cutt and his family found themselves among the stranded cars on Interstate 29 Wednesday night.

"That was about 9:00," Cutt said.

He says rescuers reached his family and brought them to the gas station near Summit about 8:30 Thursday morning. One of the five people in his van was his four-year-old grandson.

They were driving from Aberdeen to Sisseton last night and the interstate conditions north of Summit caught them off guard. They saw other cars and trucks pulled over on the road and went as far as they could before they couldn't make it anymore.

"We stayed in our van for a little bit and our van wasn't giving out much heat so we asked this trucker if we could spend the night in his truck and he said it was OK," Cutt said.

So that's where they all crammed in until rescuers found them. Cutt said the trucker called in and told rescuers about the four-year-old.

Others spent the entire night out on the road and didn't leave until they could drive out in their vehicles, all no doubt echoing the words of Cutt as he sat waiting himself.

"We want to get home," Cutt said.

Plows and snowblowers devoted the morning to clearing a path on the interstate for stranded cars and trucks to drive out or for tow trucks to pull them out. They had a majority of the vehicles moving before the noon hour was over.

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