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Bad Weather Leads To Busy Day For South Dakota Highway Patrol

January 17, 2014, 5:14 PM by Leland Steva

Bad Weather Leads To Busy Day For South Dakota Highway Patrol

Captain Alan Welsh of the South Dakota Highway Patrol said even he was surprised by how quickly conditions turned bad. With so many crashes happening one after another, he says it was all hands on deck.

"We had things yesterday that I've never seen before," Captain Alan Welsh said.

With the snowfall and powerful winds, roads were dangerous, causing driver after driver to crash or slide off the road.  It was a day that Captain Welsh would like to forget.

"For anybody in public safety, the sheriff's office, the police department, emergency managements, everybody, it was a miserable day," Welsh said.

A day when every available trooper was needed on the road.

"We asked our guys to stay out and work extended shifts. We called our night shifts out early so they all came out during the daytime and then we called guys on days off as well, and they came to work," Welsh said.

Despite all of the crashes and dramatic video like this, Captain Welsh says not many people were hurt.

But he hopes people learn from these images that "no travel advisories" should be taken seriously. Just because the interstate is open, doesn't mean it's safe.

"I view everything from my position as what's the right decision to keep people safe, but a lot of times the public, they look at it as they just want to get from point A to point B," Welsh said.

When winds pick up again this weekend, Welsh wants everyone to watch the forecast on check on conditions before you get behind the wheel.

"Personally I'd like to see more people access that information because it's pretty timely and it's pretty accurate. The problem is they got to follow it," Welsh said.

Welsh says it's rare to see the interstates close due to weather. That decision is made by the Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Safety.

Two of the best resources are dialing 5-1-1 and Safe Travel USA

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