Dangerous driving conditions expected in northeast South Dakota
March 18. 2013 7:43AM
State officials are advising motorists blizzard conditions in northeastern South Dakota may cause dangerous driving conditions.
Blowing snow and strong winds, from 30-60 mph, will cause near-zero visibility, snow packed and slippery roadways, and possible drifting snow at bridge ends and in sheltered areas throughout the day on Monday.
Travelers are urged to use extreme caution when driving in northeastern areas of South Dakota, including Interstate 29.
“Blizzard conditions will make travel extremely difficult, if not impossible, throughout northeastern portions of South Dakota Sunday night and throughout the day on Monday,” says Kristi Sandal, public information officer with the Department of Transportation. “Conditions may deteriorate rapidly as the storm moves through the area and people should make plans to stay put or extend their stay until conditions improve.”
People who must travel should drive with extreme caution and are encouraged to visit www.safetravelusa.com/sd or dial 511 to check the latest road conditions and travel advisories before heading out.
Travelers are reminded that SDDOT crews will plow until early evening hours as conditions allow. After that, winter maintenance will be suspended and will resume about 5 a.m. the next morning, weather permitting.
If you must travel, the Departments of Transportation and Public Safety recommend travelers also take the following steps:
• Wear your seatbelt.
• Travel during the day.
• Use highly traveled roads and highways.
• Keep family and friends informed of your travel schedule and route.
• Call 511 or visit safetravelusa.com for road conditions.
• Keep a winter weather survival kit in your car. The kit should include blankets, warm clothing, water, energy bars, a flashlight, a distress flag, a shovel and matches.
• Travel with a charged cell phone, but don’t rely on it to get you out of a bad situation.
• Change travel plans as weather conditions warrant.
If you do get stranded:
• Stay with your vehicle.
• Run the engine and heater about ten minutes an hour to stay warm.
• When the engine is running, open a window slightly to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Periodically clearing snow from the exhaust pipe will also help prevent carbon monoxide buildup.
• When it’s dark outside, turn on your interior light so rescuers can see you.
• Put up a distress flag, or spread a large colored cloth on the ground to attract attention from rescuers.