Blizzard brings wind, white-outs & white-knuckle driving to KELOLAND

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — The pre-Christmas blizzard is creating treacherous driving conditions, both in the city and in the open areas of the country.

The winter storm has blown-away any fears of a brown Christmas in KELOLAND.

“I was thinking we were going to have a brown Christmas and then this springs up and I guess this will stick around for a little while, maybe ’til next week,” Jim Murphy of Sioux Falls said.

City snow plows seem to materialize out of nowhere like a Christmas ghost making passes on the wind swept streets. Vehicles that couldn’t make it through the snow required a friendly nudge to keep going. For as bad as it was in the city, driving conditions were even worse in the open areas of the interstate.

“With the wind the way it is, a lot of trucks are getting bumped after they come out from a shelter-belt you know, you hit the slick spots, that’s where you gotta be careful,” Murphy said.

Driving in these conditions is a challenge even for the professionals. We caught up with a trucker who was having a tough time getting around Sioux Falls.

“I had to put on some chains to get back to my terminal. I threw chains on the tires to get a little more traction. That’s how I got up the hill there on West 12th, like up to Minnesota Avenue and then up to Russell. Yeah, it’s no good,” Sioux Falls trucker Phillip Stahl said.

The poor driving conditions will likely delay deliveries for local truckers.

“I’m going to try to do my run this afternoon. But I don’t know if what they’ll do with the night guys. Because we have night guys that leave town and go to Omaha, Des Moines and the Cities, so I’m not sure what they’ll do with them, probably tell them to wait to Saturday,” Stahl said.

When visibility is this poor, drivers can’t lose sight of what’s important in staying safe on the road.

“Slow down and watch out for everybody else,” Stahl said.

Drivers we spoke with say the storm isn’t likely to change their Christmas travel plans since they were planning on staying home anyway.

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