Winter storm shuts down Interstate 29 north of Watertown

December 15, 2002
Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D.–The South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) closed both northbound and southbound Interstate 29 from Watertown to the North Dakota border at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

In doing so, the SDDOT said, ” the combination of newly developing snow and sustained winds will make I-29 impassable during the overnight hours.”

Accumulating snow and strong winds have made secondary highways impassable over an extended period of time with many state highways posting No Travel Advised.

Many vehicles have become stuck and stranded in an attempt to travel on state highways to avoid Interstate closures. Those stranded vehicles create hazards for snowplow operators and may delay getting the sections of highway cleared.

Any person who fails to observe any sign, marker, warning, notice or direction, or barrier placed is in violation, anf faces a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Department of Public Safety officials note that failure to comply with an Interstate closure may result in a $232 fine, a civil penalty of up to $1,000, and the actual cost of any such rescue, not to exceed $10,000.