This year’s winter travel challenges begin sooner than expected for cross country travel with a surprisingly strong winter storm. The storm system effects Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota throwing off a tornado in Nebraska, with thunderstorms from Oklahoma to Wisconsin.
Travelers were advised to stay off the roads in western South Dakota, where the western 30 miles of Interstate 90 was closed between Sturgis and the Wyoming border. Officials said the road will remain closed until storm conditions improve and crews are able to clear the highway.
Although early October snowfalls aren't unusual in the Black Hills area, National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Trimarchi said a storm of this large happens only once every decade or two on the plains. "I couldn't say when the last time we've had one like this. It's been quite a while."
The Department of Transportation also advised no travel on some of the other roads in the region. Blizzard warnings were in effect in Wyoming, where strong winds and up to 15 inches of snow were expected to cause whiteout conditions.
Steve Rubin, of the National Weather Service said Friday, "These are just really dangerous conditions."
"This isn't unusual for Colorado this time of year," said Jim Kalina of the National Weather Service reporting from Boulder, Colo., where as many as 8 inches of snow is forecast.
Authorities advise, be prepared when trying to travel in winter conditions. Slow down, carry survival kits and stay in your vehicles if stranded.
Watch the international video on winter driving tips.
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