DOT warns of snow, rain and strong winds across statePierre – The National Weather Service predicts snow, rain and freezing rain accompanied by strong winds are likely from Friday evening into Sunday for much of South Dakota.
By: News release, SD Department of Transportation
Pierre – The National Weather Service predicts snow, rain and freezing rain accompanied by strong winds are likely from Friday evening into Sunday for much of South Dakota, and the South Dakota Department of Transportation is warning travelers to be prepared.
Winds of up to 45 mph winds could create dangerous wind chills in some areas. The combination of rain, snow and wind could cause slick roads, some drifting and low visibility at times. South Dakotans should consider this storm the first widespread shot of winter, and travelers should be alert to rapidly changing conditions in their areas, DOT officials said.
Travel during the night will require extra care.
Department of Transportation crews will perform winter maintenance operations into the early evening hours but will then suspend work so that crews can get rest before winter maintenance operations resume in the morning.
Blowing and drifting snow, which may continue to accumulate overnight at bridge ends and in sheltered areas, can make travel condition extremely dangerous when combined with the dangerously cold temperatures.
Travelers are advised to slow down and drive with extreme caution. Officials also encourage 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 to 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.