December 4, 2017
PIERRE, S.D. – This year’s first snowstorm is expected to reach eastern South Dakota this afternoon just in time for the commute home, and South Dakota state Public Safety and Transportation officials are encouraging motorists to be extra cautious.
The fast-moving storm has featured high winds, low visibility, freezing rain and snow. Several weather-related vehicle crashes and semi rollovers have been reported in other parts of the state. Drivers of high-profile vehicles should use extra caution since sustained winds of 25-40 mph have been reported in other areas with gusts of more than 50 mph.
Drivers should stay updated on the latest forecasts, travel advisories and road conditions before leaving late this afternoon or early evening. The Department of Transportation says motorists can get the most up-to-date information on road conditions atwww.safetravelusa.com/sd, downloading the SDDOT511 app or by calling 5-1-1. DOT trucks and snowplows also will be out as needed.
Officials of the Department of Public Safety and the Highway Patrol also encourage drivers in the weather-impacted area to take their time. Motorists are urged to slow down, use their headlights, don’t get distracted and wear their seatbelts. It is also encouraged that drivers should let someone know when they are leaving, their route and when they should reach their destination.
Drivers who have a longer trip should make sure they have a full tank of fuel and also a pack a winter safety kit which should include items such as a cell phone with fully charged batteries, windshield scraper and brush and non-perishable food such as granola bars and peanuts.
The storm is expected to leave the state later tonight or early Tuesday morning.