Interstates reopened after days of closures
All South Dakota interstate reopened Saturday following days of widespread closures due to a winter storm.
Authorities are cautioning against nonessential travel across most of South Dakota Friday as the state deals with a widespread winter storm now entering its fifth day.
The only areas not under a no travel advisory Friday morning are the southern Black Hills and the southeastern part of the state, according to the 511 road conditions map. However, roads in those areas are still listed as slippery and potentially ice-covered.
Interstate 90 remained closed from Mitchell to Wyoming while Interstate 29 is still closed from Watertown to North Dakota.
State officials have put repeated calls out asking people to avoid driving. The Highway Patrol and sheriff offices across the state have responded to numerous rescue calls. Authorities say these divert resources and delay road clearing efforts.
Hazardous/impossible travel conditions continue today due to blowing & drifting snow. Near-zero visibilities are expected at times across western SD. Blizzard Warnings have been extended into the afternoon. Storm wanes this evening. Dangerously cold next week. #sdwx #wywx pic.twitter.com/8DVFZuGPXV— NWS Rapid City (@NWSRapidCity) December 16, 2022
Many state offices are closed for the fourth straight day. Gov. Kristi Noem ordered offices in most counties closed Friday except for those in southeast South Dakota and the southern Black Hills.
The National Weather service expects wind and drifting snow to persist throughout the day Friday.
The winter weather system moved into the area Monday night, bringing snow in western and central South Dakota and freezing rain in the east. Intermittent snow continued statewide throughout the week. Strong winds resulted in days of blizzard-like conditions for hundreds of thousands.
Snowfall totals vary across the state, with some areas receiving eye-popping amounts over the course of the storm. The NWS snowfall report map showed several communities in the northern Black Hills and south central South Dakota receiving more than three feet of snow over the past 72 hours. The highest report is Cheyenne Crossing, near Deadwood, reporting 48 inches of snow since Tuesday. Reports from north central and northeastern parts of the state ranged from 10-20 inches. Eastern and southeastern South Dakota generally saw less six inches or less.
Both state and local plow crews have worked essentially nonstop since the storm hit the region. Snow alerts are in effect in several communities, including Brookings and Huron.
While the wind and snow are expected to dissipate over the weekend, NWS meteorologists said "dangerous" cold will follow the system early next week.
Once this system shifts east colder air will work into the region, becoming much colder early next week. Please be prepared for pre-holiday travel concerns with wind chills potentially as cold as -45! pic.twitter.com/a4EMlYWCHp— NWS Sioux Falls (@NWSSiouxFalls) December 16, 2022