PIERRE, S.D. (KELO-AM) – South Dakota officials are closing Interstate 90 between Rapid City and Sioux Falls effective immediately. That segment of Interstate will remain closed until conditions improve and crews are able to clear the roadway.
Officials with the state Departments of Transportation and Public Safety say existing road conditions are deteriorating as the storm intensifies.
Strong winds and moderate to heavy snow overnight and into Wednesday will cause additional deterioration and hazardous driving conditions with zero to near zero visibility, icy roads, as well as blowing and drifting snow.
Two construction projects on I-90 with head-to-head traffic are contributing to making travel particularly difficult and will hamper efforts to keep the roadway open, especially during the overnight hours.
Transportation Department crews will continue maintenance operations into the early evening hours when it is safe to do so. When snowplow operations are suspended, roadways quickly become blocked and travel conditions deteriorate within the service area.Officials will assess road conditions as early as possible on Wednesday morning to determine when some segments of roadways can be opened as conditions improve.
Travelers are urged to visit safetravelusa.com/SD or to call 511 to check road conditions in other parts of South Dakota. Officials caution travelers to watch the weather and be prepared to change travel plans.
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 I-90 between Rapid City and Sioux Falls during the closure 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.