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Freezing Rain Makes For Slow Morning Commute

February 15, 2012, 5:03 PM by Nicole Winters

Freezing Rain Makes For Slow Morning Commute
WORTHING, SD - Some days, even the smallest amount of rain or ice can cause serious problems on the road.
Wednesday morning, freezing rain created a glaze of ice over southeast South Dakota.  While it didn't cause many issues in Sioux Falls, it was a much different situation just a few miles south on Interstate 29.

Drivers crawled to work Wednesday morning on Interstate 29 near Worthing.

"It doesn't take much of this to cause kind of a disaster on the interstate," Lincoln County Emergency Manager Harold Timmerman said.

This backup is just the beginning of the problems.

"Just the small amount of rain froze to the interstate surface," Timmerman said.

That's all it took to send cars slipping into the ditch.  It also triggered an accident in the southbound lanes, which led to a pileup involving a boom truck.

"One or two vehicles hit the ice on the top of the bridge and hit the bridge.  There's a truck turned over on its side and several other small vehicles involved," Timmerman said.

The crash backed traffic up even farther and reduced the interstate to a single lane.  Even at slow speeds, tires were still spinning.

Emergency vehicles and sanders worked their way through traffic to get to the accident and try to make the interstate safer for drivers and emergency crews.

"It makes it safer for everybody working out here," Timmerman said.

Fortunately, the slick conditions weren't widespread.  Drivers told us the stretch of interstate seemed to bear the brunt of the ice.

It took a couple hours to get the crash cleared and get traffic back to normal.  Timmerman says there were injuries, but nothing appeared to be serious.

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