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Interstate 29 Closed from Brookings to the North Dakota Border
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For Immediate Release: Monday, March 31, 2014

Contact: Kristi Sandal, 773-3265 or Terry Woster, 773-3231

 

Interstate 29 Closed from Brookings to the North Dakota Border

 

PIERRE, S.D. – State officials have closed Interstate 29 between Brookings and the North Dakota border effective immediately (Monday night, March 31).

 

I-29 is also closed from the South Dakota border to the Canadian border in North Dakota.

 

Officials with the state Departments of Transportation and Public Safety say high winds of 40-50 mph are creating white-out conditions with zero to near zero visibility, icy roads, and blowing and drifting snow making travel in this area impossible.

 

No travel advisories are also in effect on several highways in north central and northeast South Dakota. Motorists are urged to postpone travel plans until daylight and the storm has moved through the state.

 

Winter maintenance has been suspended and will resume operations in the area when it is safe to do so.

 

Travelers are urged to visit safetravelusa.com/SD or call 511 to check road conditions before heading out 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 any closed portion of Interstate 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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