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Posted on: November 28, 2022

Know where travel advisories originate and what they indicate this winter

winter weather

SPEARFISH, SD – Situated in Western South Dakota, our community is no stranger to weather of all kinds, and as we move into winter, it is important for residents to be aware of and know the meaning of travel advisories in the area. 

During inclement weather, it is important for residents to check travel conditions in their areas of travel, as a variety of agencies are monitoring conditions and have jurisdiction for different areas and roadways. For example, the South Dakota Department of Transportation may indicate a travel advisory for Interstate 90, which is specific to the interstate, while the communities along Interstate 90 may not have any travel advisories in place within their city limits.

The City of Spearfish utilizes two weather-indicated travel notices. Before going into effect, they are discussed collaboratively with personnel from multiple departments who consider the totality of circumstances, including climatic conditions before, during, and forecasted after a snow event; moisture content/depth of snow; wind; visibility; ice; and other hazardous conditions. During certain weather events, conditions in one part of town may dictate the result for all of Spearfish. 

Please note the distinction between the two notices:

  • No Travel Advisory – This indicates travel is possible but not advised due to road and weather conditions being hazardous. People should avoid driving unless travel is necessary. 
  • No Travel Allowed – This indicates travel is not allowed within City Limits. 
    • Only emergency services and essential personnel on official business should be traveling when this notice is in place. Any vehicle that does not fit the parameters of emergency services/essential personnel on official business may be ticketed.

Businesses and organizations within the community make determinations regarding their closures, and employees are encouraged to be familiar with their employer’s policies related to the impacts of winter weather.

Winter weather affects everyone,” Public Safety Director Pat Rotert said. “We understand the disruption of travel impacts daily life, and we do not make the decision lightly when implementing these notices. Our priority is safety.”

Travel advisories are communicated via social media, local media, City website, and/or the emergency alert system. To sign up for emergency alerts from the City of Spearfish, go to https://www.cityofspearfish.com/632/Emergency-Alerts and click the green “Sign up” button located near the bottom of the page.

More information regarding snow removal, priority routes, relevant ordinances, etc., is available on the City’s Snow Information and Advisory Guide

Residents are encouraged to utilize SD511 Traveler Information System, which provides real-time roadway conditions and weather information across South Dakota, by dialing 5-1-1, visiting SD511.org, or via the SD511 mobile app. 

More tips on winter weather preparedness, including winter driving safety, is available here.

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