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Weather Creating Tough Job For Road Crews

February 29, 2012, 12:21 PM
Updated: February 29, 2012, 2:33 PM

Weather Creating Tough Job For Road Crews

Interstate 90 between Murdo and Chamberlain opened to traffic at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday but state officials are asking people to be careful on all South Dakota roads.

Greg Fuller, the Director of Operations for the Department of Transportation, says the most problematic areas are in Central South Dakota diagonally up to Northeast South Dakota.

He says biggest challenge crews are facing as they clear the roads is that there is a lot of compacted snow and ice on the roads.  The high winds and drifting snow are then compacting the problem because they cannot treat the roads.  Making them wet only collects more snow, building ice instead of helping the situation.

Fuller says his biggest recommendation is that if you don't have to be out on the road - don't. 

"We understand that people want to be on the roads and about their business, but we ask for patience while our maintenance crews clear the roads,'' Fuller said in a statement. "It may seem the storm has passed, but strong winds are expected to continue over a large portion of South Dakota into the early evening hours. That means travel will continue to be a challenge, and patience is part of making safe choices.''

While many roads are open, the travel is still very difficult and officials say drivers should expect that until the snow, rain and wind completely diminish.  DOT crews will maintain roads until Wednesday evening when they will leave the roads to give plow drivers a rest.  Officials expect crews will resume road maintenance Thursday morning.

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