SIOUX FALLS, S.D (KELO) As road conditions worsen, Craig Smith with the South Dakota Department of Transportation says they are already closing parts of the interstate and expect more to come.
“We would expect we’re going to have some interstate closures both on Interstate 29 and interstate 90 really throughout the state in the next two to three days,” Smith said.
Paul Schuh is one of many truckers out on the roads today.
“I was up north up there and on a lot of back roads and stuff. They’re really slippery,” Schuh said.
He has been driving slower, due to drifting and low visibility on the interstate.
“You got more weight and stuff. So I could really tell that today when I was going up empty. Coming back loaded,” Schuh said.
Smith says they will have their plows out on the roads for as long as conditions allow.
“It’s not just a safety problem for our plows, it’s other drivers that might be out there, we will pull the plows off during those times,” Smith said.
South Dakota Highway Patrol says they wrote over 160 interstate closure tickets from December to January. They say this is a violation and they will be enforcing it.
“We’ve seen people- they think they’re going to go around the barricades and again, it just puts themselves in an unsafe situation as well as the trucks that we still may have out there trying to keep the roads clear. So when conditions do improve, we’re ready to open that up,” Smith said.
Smith says the best thing to do is plan ahead and drive safely.
The DOT sent this release out, you can find more information about closures and delays here.
“The following Interstate closures are planned for Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023:
- Interstate 29 (northbound and southbound) will be closed from the North Dakota state line to Brookings at 8 p.m.
- Interstate 29 (northbound and southbound) will be closed from Brookings (exit 132) to Sioux Falls (exit 84) at 10 p.m.
- Interstate 90 (eastbound and westbound) will be closed from Sioux Falls (exit 395) to Mitchell (exit 332) at 10 p.m.
A blizzard warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for much of the state on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, with heavy accumulating snow totals and sustained high winds expected to cause blizzard-like conditions and extensive drifting. With conditions approaching near zero visibility and significant drifting of snow, SDDOT anticipates additional sections of Interstate 90 and Interstate 29 will be closed on Wednesday morning as the system moves across the state.
No Travel Advisories are also expected to be placed on secondary highways throughout South Dakota due to high winds, blowing snow, and low visibilities associated with this winter storm system.
Motorists should not use secondary highways to avoid Interstate closures. Significantly reduced visibilities and blizzard-like conditions, along with extreme wind chills, will make travel very dangerous over the next few days.”