Drivers frustrated by I-90 closure

Local News

HUMBOLDT, S.D. (KELO) — It’s been a frustrating delay for drivers on Interstate 90 where flooding closed a 15-mile stretch west of Sioux Falls. Truckers and vacationers were waiting-out the high water.

The distance between Humboldt and the Bridgewater exit only spans 15-miles. But it was a big enough obstacle to interrupt travel plans for westbound drivers who had to sit still or else backtrack

The I-90 trucking route came to a standstill at the Humboldt exit.

“It was pretty frustrating, I’m on a tight schedule for this trip, so yeah, it was a little frustrating,” trucker Curtis Kerns said.

Kerns is hauling steel to Portland, Oregon, with his dog Freddy. But the traveling companions had to bide their time waiting for the interstate to reopen.

“Sitting and playing with the dog, watching video, just normal down-time,” Kerns said.

“We thought we would be seeing Mt. Rushmore by tomorrow morning, but maybe not,” Jackie Stephens of Kelowna, British Columbia, said.

The couple from Canada, traveling cross-country, encountered threatening weather well before they came across flooding in South Dakota.

“We’ve seen it for the last two states. We’ve been driving in and out of torrential, torrential downpours, cars off the road. We knew that it was bad; we just didn’t realize you guys would be flooding out an interstate,” Stephens said.

Some drivers took their chances and continued westbound on Highway 38, just north of I-90. But this is what they ran into: a flooded-out road at Montrose. So they turned around and headed back to Humboldt.

“Realistically, the only option from here is to go back east,” Kerns said.

But many drivers are taking all this back-tracking in-stride, if it means reaching their destinations later, yet safer.

“Mother Nature’s a heck of a woman and if she decides to do something, she decides to do something in a big way,” George Davies of Kelowna, British Columbia, said.

Workers at Friendly’s convenience store in Humboldt were handing out maps to help people figure out detours. One of the clerks was even losing her voice giving directions to the customers.

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