Braving whiteout conditions - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Braving whiteout conditions

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One reason we're being asked to stay indoors tonight? It's not safe for anyone to be on the roads around Sioux Falls -- and that includes emergency responders.

KSFY news reporter Tess Hedrick road along with a member of the Minnehaha County Sheriff's Office Thursday evening.

Sgt. Jerry Winter has been with the Minnehaha County Sheriff's Office for 21 years. And he's seen it all.

"We've had fatalities, we've had just slide in's and we've had some really tragic accidents during the winter time," said Sgt. Winter.

Sgt. Winter says calls are coming in left and right for stranded motorists on both the Interstate and rural roads.

"Our job doesn't stop because there's bad weather. We keep on going. We have to be out there and we serve the public and if there's an emergency, we're called to it," said Sgt. Winter.

As Sgt. Winter leaves Sioux Falls and gets into rural Minnehaha County, visibility is gone in a matter of seconds.
 
"Yeah, you can't predict your visibility -- might be really good for one stretch of road and then all of sudden, bang, it's right there and your visibility is reduced to zero. See, now look -- the car in front of us -- there it is just about disappearing and now we can't even see the lines in the road," said Sgt. Winter.

Even for seasoned Midwestern drivers, these conditions can be deadly.

"Basically we're doing about 25, 28 miles an hour," said Sgt. Winter.

And even city driving can be dangerous.

"This is coming into Sioux Falls on Cliff Ave. and you can see how just coming even into town here it's just about zero visibility right here," said Sgt. Winter.

Be prepared for the unknown says Sgt. Winter. Keep your speeds down and keep a watchful eye.

Sgt. Winter says only travel if you absolutely have to. And if you do -- make sure you have a full 
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