State Shutters Interstates As Blizzard Shuts South Dakota Down

(KCCR) — Interstate 90 is closed across most of South Dakota as an April blizzard continues to bury the state. The east/west route was closed Wednesday from Sioux Falls to Ellsworth Air Force Base. Governor Kristi Noem says South Dakotans should stay put…

“Stay home!  Stay off the roads, get your family home, get some groceries and stay there.  Because it’s going to be icy out there, it’s going to get a lot of snow.  Even just this water that will be falling out of the sky if it comes and rain will be washing across roads and already flooded streams and that’s a big problem because then we send emergency responders out to try to help individuals and we’re putting their lives in to jeopardy too.  This last storm that came through a month or so, we have a lot of people stranded and a lot of people that were in very dangerous situations trying to save families and women with babies and children out in the blizzard and had Troopers that we’re stuck out; two to three days at a time that couldn’t get back.”

Greg Fuller with the South Dakota Department of Transportation says Interstate 29 was closed earlier Wednesday as conditions simply got too poor to safely travel…

“We’ve had numerous vehicles that have run off the road and even some vehicles that just stopped in the road because they couldn’t see.  Those were creating safety issues both for motorists and for the responders and that was determined that it was in everybody’s best interest for safety if we close that section of Interstate.”
Pierre Mayor Steve Harding says the city placing resources across the city to help clear the way for first responders…

“As we did last time too, for emergencies…first responders, we’ve got that covered with as far as the…you know if an ambulance has to make a call and if it gets drifting like it did previously this isn’t drifting in currently, but the certainly is that wind comes up and we get some you no more snow we know what it can do from the last one, so so we’ll have a front end loader or plow station do you know at the appropriate place so that, you know if necessary, we can get first responders to whatever needs to be done.”
Senator Mike Rounds barely made it back to his home in Fort Pierre after hearing about the changing conditions from his wife…

“In less than an hour she said we went from heavy rain, lightning and thunder to ice pellets and now snow with 40 mile an hour winds.”
No travel advisories remain posted across South Dakota. The National Weather Service has held solid on their forecast of nearly 20 inches of snow for Pierre.