South Dakota Dept. of Transportation urges caution as snow storm approaches
The South Dakota Department of Transportation is warning drivers of snow, rain and freezing rain expected to hit the state over the weekend.
Winds of up to 45 mph are also expected in some areas. The Department of Transportation said the combination of these factors could cause slick roads, some drifting snow and low visibility at times. The DOT recommends that South Dakotans should consider this storm the first widespread shot of winter, and travelers should be alert to rapidly changing conditions in the areas.
The blowing and drifting snow could make travel extremely dangerous in some areas—especially at bridge ends and in sheltered areas. Department of Transportation crews are performing winter maintenance operations into the early evening hours, but maintenance will be suspended so crews can rest before maintenance resumes in the morning.
Drivers are urged to slow down and drive with extreme caution. The Department of Transportation also encourages motorists to visit www.safetravelusa.com/sd or dial 511 to check the latest road conditions and travel advisories before heading out.
The Departments of Transportation and Public Safety recommend travelers also take the following steps:
Call 511 or visit safetravelusa.com for road conditions
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
Use highly traveled roads and highways
Keep family and friends informed of your travel schedule and route
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 – do not try to walk for help
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