SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Truckers stranded by the major winter storm are back on the road tonight. They were stuck in 4-foot drifts in the westbound rest area on I-90 near Salem.
Buried in snow, frozen brake lines, unable to move. Eight truckers, some of them stuck at this rest stop since Monday, struggled to free themselves. The sound of spinning tires could be heard all over the rest area.
William Branly is on a coast-to-coast run from Massachusetts to Washington. He was waived off the road by law enforcement. This rest area has been his home for 3 days.
“Everybody is in the same situation. Some of them just have a couple of feet of snow that can be moved out of the way. They can just get out of here. other ones are frozen up. I’m frozen up from being here so long, you know,” Branly said.
Tom Hanson: When you are frozen up, what do you mean?
“The airlines are all frozen up,” said Branly.
It’s been a frustrating experience for these truckers, they’ve been stuck here mired down in all this snow. They’ve watched I-90 open up, and other trucks drive right by. They were waiting for the state to clear the rest stop so they could move. Branly says they felt abandoned. And the rest stop was virtually unusable because the trucks struggling to get out were blocking the through lane.
But help arrived in the form of this giant tow truck from Mitchell. Keith Crago and his crew showed up to help one truck and ended up helping others get out of the snow as well. He says he’s been busy.
“Pulled three of them out yesterday, and they were in the ditch,” said Crago. “We had to have another wrecker hold them up so they wouldn’t tip over. It’s been crazy.”
Crago freed this truck driven by Larry Jacobsen.
“Lovley, now it’s this one brake that’s stuck,” said Jacobsen.
Marooned since Monday afternoon, Jacobsen was pounding on his frozen brake lines before getting back on the road.
“I’ve had snow storms but nothing like this before so this is a new experience for this young man,” said Jacobsen.
One by one the frozen and snow-trapped trucks were set free.
Instead of watching the traffic go by they had a different view from their windshield. They were on the road again.