SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Heavy snow expected in central South Dakota Tuesday has shut down Interstate 90 and many schools in the area.
By the end of the day Tuesday, snow amounts in Pierre and areas in central South Dakota are expected to be over 6 inches with more snow expected overnight into Wednesday.
At 3:45 p.m., Todd County announced school would be closed on Wednesday.
Starting at 10 a.m. CT/9 a.m. MT Tuesday, the South Dakota Department of Transportation announced I-90 would close eastbound and westbound from Chamberlain to Rapid City.
At 11 a.m. Tuesday, the Gregory County Sheriff’s Office advised no travel in Gregory County due to the winter storm. Officials said resources would be limited and rescuing motorists may be a low priority.
Public safety secretary Craig Price told KCCR Radio in Pierre that despite some people only seeing a few inches of snow Tuesday morning, more snow and more wind will be on its way.
“The situation will get more dangerous as the day and week goes on,” Price said. “It’s important to be patient.”
Price said the Missouri River valley and west is seeing mostly snow as expected.
Schools closed in central South Dakota Tuesday include: Pierre, Mobridge-Pollock, Bennett County, Bowdle, Burke, Chamberlain, Colome, Crow Creek, Edmunds Central, Faith, Gettysburg, Gregory, Philip, Highmore-Harrold, Hitchcock-Tulare, Hoven, Jones County, Kadoka, Kimball, Lyman County, Miller, Selby, Stanley County, Timber Lake, Todd County, White River and Winner.
Gov. Kristi Noem announced Monday all state government executive branch offices would be closed statewide on Tuesday. A decision about Wednesday is expected sometime on Tuesday.
The city of Mobridge issued a Snow Alert on Tuesday and said street department crews would focus on plowing emergency routes starting at 9:30 a.m. North and south avenues would start being plowed at 8 a.m. Wednesday and people were asked to move vehicles off north and south avenues during that time. East and west streets would start being cleared after the north and south avenues.
The city of Pierre issued a Snow Alert on Monday night. No parking is allowed on the emergency snow routes.
Craig Smith, Director of Operations for SDDOT told KELOLAND News on Monday the long duration for this winter storm will bring challenges and long hours. He said visibility is always the biggest concern with a winter storm.
“There’s really no tool out there to help you with visibility, you’re really challenged in those conditions,” Smith said. “When you have that much snow and our ditches start getting filled with snow, it doesn’t take much of a wind that we may not be getting any new snow, but the blowing snow can present some road condition problems.”
Smith said the DOT’s 511 website and 511 phone number provides up-to-date road condition information.
“If you don’t need to travel, stay safe at home, because that is likely going to be the safest place at least for portions of the storm,” Smith said. “We’ve really tried to increase our social media presence during events like this. We’ve got the capability to take pictures from some of our snowplows throughout the storm.”