State: Do not travel Saturday night until Monday unless ‘absolutely necessary’

Courtesy: South Dakota Highway Patrol

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As a winter storm moves through South Dakota on this holiday weekend, roads are becoming slippery.

The South Dakota Department of Transportation is closing portions of I-90 on Saturday night at 7 p.m. (CT)/6 p.m. (MT). I-90 will be closed eastbound from Rapid City to Mitchell and westbound from Mitchell to Wall.

Many highways are ice-covered, and travel is being discouraged Saturday night into Monday unless absolutely necessary, according to the South Dakota DOT. Drivers trying to avoid the closures are reminded that state highways and county roads will not be any better and may likely be worse.

In Sioux Falls, city crews treated emergency routes early Saturday morning and are closely monitoring road conditions. The city is reminding people to keep sidewalks clean.

Rapid City officials say roads are in good condition as of Saturday afternoon. They also have had crews out since the early morning hours.

South Dakota Highway Patrol troopers have been posting to social media all day with road conditions across the state.

Officials say plows in locations with heavy snow will be brought in off most highways early evening and No Travel Advisories will be issued. Heavy drifting will start to occur fairly quickly.

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

Winter Weather Resources

Here is the latest forecast update from the KELOLAND Live Doppler HD Storm Center:

Learn about the approaching storm in-depth from the KELOLAND Live Doppler HD Storm Center in the latest forecast update from our meteorologists:

For a full list of weather alerts in KELOLAND, click here.

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