The South Dakota Departments of Transportation and Public Safety are advising motorists that Interstate 29 will be closing from Watertown to the North Dakota border, both north and southbound, effective immediately.
I-90 remains closed between Exit 67 east of Rapid City to Mitchell for eastbound traffic and from Mitchell to Wall for westbound traffic.
The closed portions of I-29 and I-90 will remain closed overnight into Monday. Travelers can get the most up-to-date information on closures from calling 5-1-1 or visiting https://www.safetravelusa.com/sd/.
Weather that includes heavy snow and high winds are making travel difficult in many areas across the state. According to the National Weather Service road and weather conditions are expected to remain difficult overnight.
Many highways across the state are experiencing heavy drifting, are ice covered, and snow-packed and slippery. Travel across much of the state is being discouraged tonight into Monday unless absolutely necessary. Drivers trying to avoid the closures are reminded that travel on other state highways or county roads is hazardous to impossible in many locations.
Officials say snowplows will be brought in off most highways by early evening. Heavy drifting will start to occur quickly making travel hazardous to impossible overnight.
Be sure to visit https://www.safetravelusa.com/sd/ or call 5-1-1 to check the latest road conditions and travel advisories before heading out. Travelers are also reminded that although conditions appear to be “OK” in one area, they can be and are likely worse in other areas along the same route.
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
Drive with your headlights on (not daytime running lights) so you can be seen by other motorists from the front and rear
Don’t use cruise control on icy or snow-covered roads
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 in your vehicle
Run the engine and heater about 10 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 the 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