Officials with the South Dakota Departments of Transportation and Public Safety are closing Interstate 29 from Brookings to the North Dakota border at 1 p.m. CDT today (April 10) and I-29 from Sioux Falls to Brookings will likely be closed later this afternoon, depending how quickly weather and road conditions deteriorate.
Drivers should also be aware that conditions on Interstate 90 are deteriorating rapidly as well.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a blizzard warning for a large portion of the state that includes heavy wet snow and winds in excess of 50 mph.
Motorists are advised there is significant drifting on the Interstate and many state highways across much of the state, making safe travel impossible. Officials expect heavy snow and drifting through Thursday and possibly in to Friday for some areas, so travelers should plan accordingly and heed the closures and No Travel Advisories.
Motorists are strongly encouraged to change travel plans and stay where you are until crews are able to make roads safe for travel once the storm moves through the state and conditions improve.
Before heading out, check road condition information at www.safetravelusa.com/sd, on the SDDOT 511 app or by calling 5-1-1. Sign up for ClearPath511 to get closing and opening notifications directly to your phone or email.
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.
· Be flexible and cancel travel plans if weather conditions warrant.
· If the interstate is closed, secondary roads are not going to be any better and may be worse.
· When driving in low visibility, use headlights.
· 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.