GARRETSON, S.D. (KELO) — If you live on a gravel road, you’ve likely been dealing with some treacherous conditions caused by all the snow this winter. We checked out some of those roads near Garretson Monday.
Ruts, trenches and mud — those three words pretty much sum up what it’s like traveling on some township gravel roads right now due to all this freezing and melting snow.
“It’s just bad all over. Just the conditions. It isn’t the townships fault. It’s just a matter of what’s happened,” Art Norstrom said.
Art Nordstrom, owner of Nordstrom Auto Recycling, has lived near Garretson for 78 years.
“This is the worst year I’ve ever seen for our roads because of the amount of snow we had. The fact that they couldn’t get it off fast enough and it just packed into the roads, started to melt, and then the frost hadn’t gone out yet and it just turned into soup,” Nordstrom said.
Nordstrom put up these signs to encourage people using the gravel road to get to his business to take an alternate paved route.
“You go one mile north, two miles over and then back down. It’s all black top,” Nordstrom explained to a driver.
Not everyone is taking that advice. He’s stayed busy pulling out some stuck cars, but getting stuck isn’t the only problem you could run into.
“You can ruin your gas tank, you can tear off your front bumper, rear bumper, damage your exhaust systems as you’re dragging the ground,” Nordstrom said.
Wayne Ward from Hills, Minnesota was at Nordstrom’s today and says the gravel roads are in terrible condition.
“They’re not even passable for a bus or anything to get through them,” he said. “The farmers are having a hard time.”
And with the piles and piles of snow, it’s going to be awhile before these roads are back to normal.
“I don’t think there’s any solution for it. The main solution is to stay off of them and don’t do unnecessary travel down a gravel road,” Ward said.
“What’d really be nice if we could somehow get an emergency declaration and help these townships out with gravel and rock, because it’s going to take a lot. And you know, Sioux Falls has potholes. We’ve got slot racing with all this mud,” Nordstrom said.
Nordstrom says he’s pulled out at least five cars, a school bus and the same FedEx driver twice in the same day.