UPDATE: Interstate 90 and Interstate 29 open in both directions

UPDATE: 1-18-2020

PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Departments of Transportation and Public Safety have opened the closed portions of Interstate 90 and Interstate 29 in both directions.

Officials are advising motorists that even though the interstates are open, driving conditions are still difficult across the eastern part of the state. The blizzard warning for these areas remain in effect until 6 p.m. CST tonight.

Roadways are ice covered, snow-packed and slippery, and continue to experience drifting in open areas, and at bridge ends and overpasses. Visibilities are low to near zero with continued wind gusts up to 50 mph and white-outs happen without warning. High-profile vehicles especially will have difficulty travelling and should postpone travel until the winds go down.

Crews are out clearing drifts, but with the low temperatures and high winds, chemicals are ineffective at melting ice. No Travel Advisories will remain posted on portions of the interstate and many other state highways until winds go down and the storm system passes through the state.

Travelers are encouraged to postpone travel until this storm system exits the state. Anyone choosing to venture out today is asked to use extreme caution, take your time, reduce speed, avoid distractions, wear your seatbelt (all occupants), keep the cruise off, physically turn on your headlights so you can be seen, be prepared for changing conditions, and allow extra space between you and the car in front of you.

SDDOT snowplows crews are out working and motorists are reminded plows travel at 25 mph or less and to stay eight car lengths behind the plow to allow ample stopping time on icy roadways. Never pass in a snow cloud and remember, they are clearing the road in front of you.

Be sure to visit www.safetravelusa.com/sd or call 5-1-1 to check the latest road conditions and travel advisories before heading out.

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/sd 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


1-17-2020

PIERRE, S.D. The South Dakota Departments of Transportation and Public Safety are advising motorists that portions of Interstates 29 and 90 will be closing at 7 p.m. CST (Friday, Jan. 17).

Interstate 90, east and westbound, will be closed between Mitchell (Exit 332) and Sioux Falls (Exit 395)
Interstate 29, north and southbound, will be closed between Sioux Falls (Exit 84) and the North Dakota border

The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning from 9 p.m. CST this evening (Friday) until 3 p.m. CST Saturday for some counties and from midnight to 6 p.m. CST Saturday for others in the eastern part of the state. Snow and wind today have already made travel conditions hazardous in many locations. Heavy drifting is expected with winds gusting as high as 55 mph.

Many highways are ice covered, snow-packed and slippery, and visibilities range from one-quarter of a mile to zero. Travel is being strongly discouraged across most of eastern South Dakota well into Saturday. Drivers trying to avoid the closures are reminded that state highways and county roads will not be any better and may likely be worse.

Travelers are reminded that SDDOT crews will plow until early evening hours as conditions allow, and it is safe for the drivers. After that, winter maintenance will be suspended and will resume about 5 a.m. the next morning, weather permitting. With the significant forecasted snow totals and high winds, it will take some time for crews to get roads clear and open again. If an interstate is closed, do not assume other highways are in any better condition.

Be sure to visit www.safetravelusa.com/sd or call 5-1-1 to check the latest road conditions and travel advisories before heading out. Sign up for ClearPath511 for closure notifications by text message or email.

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