UPDATE: I-29 from Sioux City to Sioux Falls reopens

Weather

PIERRE, S.D. (KCAU) — UPDATE: Interstate 29 from Sioux City to Sioux Falls has reopened Friday morning.

The South Dakota Department of Transportation and Public Safety announced Friday morning that I-29 opened at 6:30. Interstate 90 from Sioux Falls to the Minnesota border also reopened.

The remaining part of I-29 from Sioux Falls north to the North Dakota border reopened at 7:30 a.m., meaning all portions of Interstate 29 and Interstate 90 that were closed in South Dakota Thursday night will be reopened.

Officials advise motorists that driving conditions remain difficult throughout much of the state. Roadways, especially across the eastern part of the state, are ice covered, snow-packed and slippery.

Travelers today are asked to use extreme caution, take your time, reduce speed, avoid distractions, wear your seatbelt (all occupants), do not use cruise control, be prepared for changing conditions and allow extra space between you and the car in front of you. Be especially cautious around bridge ends and overpasses.

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.

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

For the latest on where to find the many facets of weather conditions, click here.


PREVIOUS: The South Dakota Department of Transportation and Public Safety are advising motorists that I-29 from the North Dakota border to the Iowa border and I-90 from Sioux Falls to the Minnesota border will be closing Thursday at 10 p.m.

According to a release, The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning from 6 p.m. Thursday until 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, for the entire I-29 corridor in South Dakota.

Portions of I-90 around and west of Sioux Falls will likely be posted as No Travel Advised with the possibility of a closure if conditions warrant.

Snow accumulations up to 5 inches or more and sustained winds up to 60 mph will make travel hazardous to impossible during the overnight hours.

Snow, ice, and wind today have already made travel conditions hazardous in many locations along the I-29 corridor. Heavy drifting is also expected with this system.

Many highways are ice covered, snow-packed and slippery, and visibilities range from one-eighth of a mile to zero. Travel is being strongly discouraged across much of eastern South Dakota well into Friday. 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 forecasted snow totals and continued high winds, it will take some time for crews to get roads clear and open again.

You can get the latest weather updates on the KCAU 9 weather page.

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