Downed trees hamper road clearing operations - KOTA Territory News

Downed trees hamper road clearing operations

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The heavy, wet snow takes its toll on Black Hills trees and makes snow removal on roads difficult, according to the state Department of Public Safety.

Wet, heavy snow and strong winds are combining to knock down trees that are falling on highways in several areas of the Hills, Department of Transportation officials say. That slows the snow-removal operation. Travelers in the Black Hills area should consider delaying trips or checking ahead for road conditions.

DOT workers say it is likely more trees will be downed as snow accumulates and winds pick up during the day. National Weather Service forecasts indicate the storm could continue to impact the Black Hills area into the daytime hours on Saturday.

Travelers are urged to visit safetravelusa.com/SD or to call 511 to check road conditions in other parts of South Dakota. The early-fall storm is impacting visibility and travel in other areas of western South Dakota, and officials caution travelers to watch the weather and be prepared to change travel plans.

DOT also advises travelers that the state chain law is in effect in the northern Black Hills. That law gives the secretary of Transportation authority to restrict travel on certain highways to four-wheel-drive vehicles or vehicles equipped with tire chains, studded snow tires or tires with a traction composition that meets certain standards. Sections of highway where the chain law applies are marked, and a violation of that law is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

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