PIERRE, S.D. – Travel is expected to be impacted as winter’s first major storm makes its way across South Dakota this weekend.
The National Weather Service said the storm will start late Friday night and continue into Sunday, moving west to east. The storm will feature freezing rain, snow and high winds. The heaviest snow will be located in southern South Dakota – south of Spearfish, Pierre and Sioux Falls. Wind gusts of 25 to 35 miles per hour will cause blowing and drifting snow with reduced visibility.
Those conditions will make travel difficult. The freezing rain will lead to icy roads and black ice conditions. Among the roads impacted will be Interstate 90 from Murdo to Sioux Falls. Those who are traveling are advised to get to their destinations by Friday night or consider making alternate plans.
Travelers are reminded that Department of Transportation crews will plow as long as conditions allow and with the significant forecasted snow totals and high winds, it will take some time for them to get roads clear and open again. If an interstate is closed, do not assume other highways are in any better condition.
People who must travel are strongly encourage to visit https://www.safetravelusa.com/sd/, call 511 or download the SDDOT 511 app to check the latest road conditions and travel advisories before heading out.
The state Departments of Public Safety and Transportation remind travelers to take the following safety precautions:
• Travel during the day and use highly traveled roads and highways when possible.
• If the interstate is closed, secondary roads are not going to be any better and may be worse.
• Keep family and friends informed of your travel schedule and route.
• If you travel, wear a seatbelt. Keep a winter weather survival kit in your car and a charged cell phone with location turned on in your car, but don’t rely on the phone to get you out of trouble.
• If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle.
• Consider stocking food and water if you are in a remote area of the state.
• Take care of livestock and outdoor animals ahead of the storm.
• Be flexible and cancel travel plans if weather conditions warrant.