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Travelers urged to get to their destinations this afternoon

For Immediate Release: Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018

Contact: Tony Mangan, Department of Public Safety

                                      Public Information Officer, 605-280-5648


Travelers urged to get to their destinations this afternoon


A post-Christmas snowstorm, which started Wednesday, continues to make its way through South Dakota. The area of most concern is eastern South Dakota.


Heavy snow, high winds and freezing rain will make driving difficult especially in that area. The conditions are expected to worsen as the day goes on.


Citizens who must travel anywhere in that area are encouraged to get to their destinations this afternoon if possible and allow plenty of time to get there.  If not, they should consider remaining where they are for tonight.


Travelers in all parts of the state are urged to be flexible with their travel plans during this storm and to make adjustments as needed. Many roads are still slick due to snow and ice.


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 low visibility, 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.