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Semi Drivers Back on Interstates

December 10, 2012, 4:56 PM by Brady Mallory

Semi Drivers Back on Interstates

On Monday morning, a long line of semi trucks was forming the parking lot of the Flying J in Sioux Falls.  It was a stark contrast from Sunday night, when truck after truck filled the parking lot due to I-29 closures from Sioux Falls to Sisseton.

"I lost a lot of drive time, so it's going to put me under a pinch to where I'm going," Joseph Morgan said.

Morgan was happy to get back to work after the Department of Transportation opened I-29 from Sioux Falls to Watertown just a little before 9 am.  Morgan's first winter as a truck driver has had a memorable start.

"It was really cold.  I had to walk about a half mile to the gas station last night and froze up my face pretty good.  It hurt like hell," Morgan said.

Blizzard warnings and white-out conditions shutdown nearly 200 miles of South Dakota interstate.  Yvonne Gilliam, who has spent about 20 years behind the wheel of a big rig, said the closure was not a problem.

"Not at all; I was ready to pull over anyways.  The winds were so bad and it was lifting the truck up; sliding all over," Gilliam said.

This first taste of a real winter in years might seem brand new again, but drivers remember some good old advice.

"Always be safe and keep your distance.  Take your time; it's better to be safe than sorry.  It'll get there safely," Gilliam said.

Though drivers were in a hurry to get back on the road, they know the road is where they will have to slow down once again.

"Say it time and time again.  Semis can't stop on a dime," Morgan said.

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