I-29 Still closed north of Sioux Falls - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

I-29 Still closed north of Sioux Falls

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Travel remains treacherous in eastern South Dakota and some schools are starting late after a weekend blizzard that tore through the region.
Interstate 29 is closed from Sioux Falls to the Canadian border, after Sunday's storm brought wind gusts in excess of 60 mph that blew and drifted snow.
The storm also brought dangerous cold weather overnight, with wind chills dropping into the minus 30s.

Motorists are finding travel difficult to nearly impossible in some areas and are stopping on the roadway which creates safety concerns and increases the potential for serious accidents.

Winter maintenance is being suspended on the closed portion of I-29 as well as highways with No Travel Advisories until conditions improve and it is safe for operations to resume.

Travelers should be aware there are several No Travel Advisories posted on other state highways in the northeastern part of the state and in western South Dakota (U.S. 85 at the Wyoming border).

Motorists are being asked not to travel unless it is an emergency and are urged to visit safetravelusa.com/SD or to call 511 to check road conditions.

Officials caution travelers to watch the weather and be prepared to change travel plans if necessary.

Motorists are reminded that state law includes both criminal penalties and a civil fine of up to $1,000 for being on a closed highway. Motorists found traveling on the closed portion of I-29 will be in violation of state law. A stranded traveler could also be charged for the cost of a rescue effort, up to $10,000.

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 so motorists behind you can see you.

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.

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