In the News

blank space
Dangerous Driving Conditions Expected Across Much of South Dakota
blank space

For Immediate Release:  Sunday, March 30, 2014

Contact: Kristi Sandal, SDDOT or Jon Harms, DPS, 605.773.3231


Dangerous Driving Conditions Expected Across Much of South Dakota


PIERRE, S.D. – State officials are advising motorists that travel may become difficult, if not impossible, overnight tonight (Sunday) through Monday across much of South Dakota as a strong spring snow storm moves across the state.


The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning from the Northern Hills to just west of Mobridge with snowfall totals from 7-12”. Heavy snow from 7-10” in northwest South Dakota is also expected.


A blizzard watch is in effect from central portions of the state across to the northeast. Depending how the storm moves through the state and snowfall amounts, the watch could be upgraded to a warning in this area.


Rain and sleet will turn over to snow during the overnight hours and during the day on Monday as the storm moves from west to east. Areas of northeast South Dakota, especially in the Sisseton Hills area on I-29, could see up to ¼ inch of ice before the snow starts to fall.


Strong winds from 25-35 mph, with gusts of 40-50, mph may cause near-zero visibility, snow-packed and slippery roadways and possible drifting snow.


“Blizzard conditions will make travel extremely difficult, if not impossible, throughout much of South Dakota Sunday night and throughout the day on Monday,” says Darin Bergquist, secretary of the Department of Transportation. “Conditions may deteriorate rapidly as the storm moves across the state and people should make plans to stay put or extend their stay on Monday 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.

- 30 -


blank space