Plow crews ready for first snow

The anticipated snow fall this week means soon, snow plows will be back on the road in the area. Crews have been getting ready for their first call of the year.
Updated: Nov. 28, 2022 at 4:30 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The anticipated snow fall this week means soon, snow plows will be back on the road in the area. Crews have been getting ready for their first call of the year.

It’s nearly snow season in Sioux Falls. That means plows on the road, and first responders seeing more accidents due to slick roads. The Sioux Falls Police Department is reminding drivers to slow down and allow more time for travel when there’s snow on the road, to avoid any accidents.

“Every year this happens. There’s a ton of crashes, a ton of accidents, people running into things, primarily other vehicles.” SFPD Officer Sam Clemens said.

But the South Dakota Department of Transportation is ready for the snow. Regardless of how much the area gets, crews will be out at 4:00 a.m. to clear interstates and highways, and they’ll be out more often during the day depending on the amount of snow.

“We do also have a night crew here in Sioux Falls that will run around the loop in Sioux Falls, to try to keep that connectivity around the city.” SDDOT Area Engineer Harry Johnston said.

Johnston said the first snow fall is also a reminder from them for drivers to slow down, as visibility and driving conditions will be poor. He said too often, drivers will hit plows with their car because they’re not paying attention, or they lose control.

“Give that plow in front of you a lot of space. They’re out there to try to clean the road, to try to help you get to work safely. And the road is usually worse in front of the plow than behind the plow.” Johnston said.

One issue that the SDDOT had last year that they don’t expect to be an issue this year, is a lack of plow drivers. Johnston said they still have drivers in training that won’t be available for the beginning of the season. But he said except for one position near Flandreau, their area office is fully staffed with drivers. The SDDOT is still accepting applications for drivers elsewhere in the state, but he said it’s not nearly the issue it was this time last year.

“I think the DOT’s efforts with social media, and all of our different hiring events that we’ve done, has really helped to draw that attention to the DOT. And just to kind of come out to see the shop, see the trucks, to be able to see what’s going on.” Johnston said.