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New Storm Brings Heavy Snow, Will Impact Travel Plans

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018

Contact: Tony Mangan, Department of Public Safety

                                      Public Information Officer, 605-280-5648


New Storm Brings Heavy Snow,

Will Impact Travel Plans


PIERRE, S.D. – A post-Christmas snowstorm, featuring heavy snow, high winds and rain, is now making its way across South Dakota and is expected to impact travel through week’s end.


Parts of the state started to see snow and blowing snow early Wednesday morning. The heaviest snowfall amounts of 10 inches or more are expected Thursday and Friday in the central and northeast parts of the state. Light snow will change over to rain in the south central and southeast Wednesday before turning back to snow again Thursday. 


Those conditions will make travel difficult. Wind gusts of 30 to 42 miles per hour will cause blowing and drifting snow with reduced visibility. Freezing rain also could lead to icy roads.


Travelers are urged to be flexible with their travel plans during this storm and to make adjustments as needed. People who must travel are strongly encouraged to visit https://www.safetravelusa.com/sd/, call 511 or download the SDDOT 511 app to check the latest road conditions and travel advisories before heading out.


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 significant forecasted snow totals and high winds, it will take some time for crews to get roads clear and open again. If an interstate is closed, do not assume other highways are in any better condition.


The state Departments of Public Safety and Transportation remind travelers to take the following safety precautions:


  • Travel during the day and use highly traveled roads and highways when possible.
  • Be flexible and cancel travel plans if weather conditions warrant.
  • If the interstate is closed, secondary roads are not going to be any better and may be worse.
  • When driving in fog, use headlights.
  • Keep family and friends informed of your travel schedule and route.
  • If you travel, wear a seatbelt. Keep a winter weather survival kit in your car and a charged cell phone with location turned on in your car, but don’t rely on the phone to get you out of trouble.
  • If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle.
  • Consider stocking food and water if you are in a remote area of the state.
  • Take care of livestock and outdoor animals ahead of the storm.




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