It’s now 2018 – just one day in – and South Dakota looks like someone left our state in the deep freeze.

Dangerously cold wind chill temperatures continue today (January 1) with wind chill warnings in effect for many areas.  Stay out of the cold if you can, but if you must brave the elements, dress in layers and minimize your exposure to the wind.

Today’s highs will still be below zero in Sioux Falls.

South Dakota Highway Patrol officers have been busy with weather related accidents – nearly 60 in the past few days alone.

You can read the entire story here:

It’s important to remember that you CAN freeze to death in a vehicle that’s stuck.   Be sure to carry cold weather supplies with you. The Washington State Department of Transportation has these recommendations:

Check your tires and make sure your chains fit before the first winter storm and check tire pressure during cold weather. Remember, tire shops and mechanics are busiest just before and during winter storms.

Get a vehicle winter maintenance check-up. Don’t wait to check your battery, belts, hoses, radiator, lights, brakes, heater/defroster and wipers.

Keep your fuel tank full — don’t let it fall below half a tank.

Program your radio for traffic reports and emergency messages

Keep a basic winter survival kit in your vehicle: flashlight, batteries, blanket, snacks, water, gloves, boots, first-aid kit.

Load your car with winter travel gear : tire chains, ice scraper/snowbrush, jumper cables, road flares.

If you find yourself stranded, be safe, stay in your car, put on your flashers, call for help and wait until it arrives.

Additionally, check the roads before you go. The South Dakota Department of Public Safety has this link for an overlay of our state’s roads:

Officers say the most important item to have is a charged cell phone to call for help and also to help rescuers find you – especially if you are in a rural area and off the beaten path.

Meanwhile, out in sunny California – the 811 community is happy to announce it’s a category winner in the 2018 Tournament of Roses Parade!

Our friends at Underground Service Alert of Southern California spearheaded this loveable float featuring cuddly canines and cats who are out to repair their garden’s underground utilities.


Unfortunately, they didn’t make that all important call to 811 to get underground facilities marked before they started digging – and now they’ve got to deal with what’s below!

The float, entitled “Making it Safe for All,” won the award for the most outstanding use of animation.

You can see more pictures of the float and its construction at the California Dig Alert Facebook page:

Have a great 2018, and until next week, safe digging!

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