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Nature Drives Numerous Travel Lockdowns in South Dakota

Speaking of liberty, who says South Dakota doesn’t do lockdowns? We’ve locked people out of our grand Interstate Highways almost 40 times this winter:

The South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) has issued 38 news releases so far this winter announcing interstate closures, said Julie Stevenson, the strategic communications coordinator for the SDDOT.

“I think last year, it was a total of four to six,” Stevenson said on the morning of March 22 [Rae Yost, “SD Interstate Closures Pass 30 This Year,” KELO-TV, 2023.03.22].

How dare South Dakota infringe on freedom and stop people from living normal lives just because of a little natural disaster? Everybody’s driving pickup trucks; let lovers of freedom shift into four-wheel drive and go as far as they can, whether it’s the Coffee Cup at Summit or a cold and lonely ditch before South Shore. That’s the real American way!


  1. larry kurtz 2023-03-29 07:58

    So, what’s not to like about six (seven? eight?) month winters, rampant racism, chilling effects on civil rights, an extremist legislature, living in a chemical toilet, sacrifice zone, perpetual welfare state and permanent disaster area?

  2. sx123 2023-03-29 10:02

    I made this argument when covid was hot and heavy. We lockdown the interstate and roads in the winter all the time.

    I mean, if people want to jackknife semis and crash into ditches and put first responders’ lives at risk and people feel that’s what’s best for their family, the government should let them decide…

    I am being sarcastic of course.

  3. LCJ 2023-03-29 12:14

    Blizzard closures are for safety of the people.
    Covid lockdowns were for control of the people.

  4. Richard Schriever 2023-03-29 12:44

    LCJ is for BS disinformation.

  5. Mark Anderson 2023-03-29 13:03

    LCJ, there’s a blizzard in your head Ned.

  6. LCJ 2023-03-29 13:12

    Recent history proves me correct and proves you are cry babies.

  7. sx123 2023-03-29 13:19

    I dunno LCJ, I know people dead from covid and people in their 30s and 40s that were in ventilators. Almost nobody dies in winter storms, but we lock down roads to control people’s movement. I don’t know anyone that’s died from icy roads. Knock on wood…

  8. Donald Pay 2023-03-29 14:13

    I recall that road closures became a big deal during Bill Janklow’s first eight years as governor. He got really upset during one blizzard when a lot of people were stuck out on the interstate and the highway patrol had to risk their lives to prevent these nimrods from freezing to death. Some students at Augustana College died during the 1970s trying to walk from their stuck vehicle to a nearby house. They froze to death, a bad way to go. Janklow was also concerned about the costs to the state and local police departments for these rescue operations. Eventually Janklow built gates to prevent people from getting onto the interstate. Problem solved. Some thought that was dictatorial, but it was just common sense. And it was just as commonsense to mandate masks and lockdown during the Covid outbreak. You have to save lives, even if their are nimrods out there who thing it impinges on their freedom.

  9. LCJ 2023-03-29 14:43

    The roads are closed to save not only stupid people but also emergency responders who have to rescue them.
    Covid killed a lot of people but the shutdowns have proven an unnecessary action.
    Now the people who were in favor of it want Covid amnesty

  10. Arlo Blundt 2023-03-29 15:44

    Unless you’ve seen the overpasses on I-90 closed shut with snow, from top to bottom, you haven’t experienced a West River South Dakota blizzard and what it can do. It’s awe inspiring and obviously very dangerous to your life and limb.

  11. Donald Pay 2023-03-29 17:32

    LCJ, Sorry, you are wrong about the lockdowns and other mandates. The data is in. They saved many hundreds of millions of lives, partly directly partly indirectly by conserving medical equipment and the lives of medical personnel, so they could take care of the folks needed medical intervention, particularly at critical times when medical facilities were over capacity.

    There are many studies out on this now. Of course, a lot of this depends on a cost-benefit, and how you value life, especially the lives ot others, versus how you value freedom, and whether you would delay your freedom for a time in order to save another’s life. LCJ appears to be on the selfish end of the life/freedom spectrum, where he’s willing to kill you so he can go to the bar. I’m the other sort of person. I value life more than a temporary delay in my freedom.

    When the covid outbreak first occurred my daughter and I discussed whether China or the US would come out on with fewer deaths. I said the US, because if Americans put their mind to doing something, they do it right. My daughter said China, because they have greater social cohesion and value the elderly. My daughter was correct. American selfishness resulted in more death.

  12. scott 2023-03-29 19:02


    I understand the logic bed closing roads as it reduces risk to emergency responders. I does not always work because people take roads that could be in worse condition, so I question sometimes if much is being accomplished.

    Covid put emergency responders at great risk. With covid, not only was the emergency responders at risk, but their families or anyone they closely associated with as covid spreads before one is symptomatic.

    I never understood, and still do not understand, why some people like you were so against trying to save lives via the use of restrictions during a pandemic. If society cannot adjust their lives for a pandemic, something is wrong with society.

  13. leslie 2023-03-30 03:44

    LCJ said:

    “stupid people” which shows an over/generalized judgement on your part like an uneducated retired bitter firefighter might grouse about at the coffee klatch.

    “shutdowns have proven an unnecessary action.”

    Pay already politely covered this. I suppose Rupert Murdoch and Rush Limbaugh, the “Presidential Medal of Freedom” charade winner, say/said this, so the criticism above, applies again.

    Oh, oh, Kevin McCarthy says it too?

    “in favor of it want Covid amnesty.”

    So you would rather have them face accountability? I am all for it. Show how deserving Fauci is of punishment. Or Berk. Or CDC. Or WHO. Accountability is what you are seeing in the 1000 January 6 prosecutions of the stupid people, the armed stupid people, para military stupid people that Trump, Murdoch and Noem incited and enable their likely treasonous faux- “patriotism”. Trump’s impeachments. The Mueller report. The impending prosecutions. The civil lawsuits. The only thing that will evade accountability is gross politicization of the courts, congress, and the education system etc., and the GOP is an embarrassment to any rational, ethical society.

    Grow up ferchrissake. YOU have a responsibility to back up your opinions or factual assertions if you do not like the blow back you receive every time on this forum.

  14. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-03-30 05:02

    Don’t fall for LCJ’s or Noem’s gaslighting: Lockdowns saved millions of lives at the beginning of the pandemic:

    The lives saved by lockdowns far outnumber the economic harms:

    If we really want to ply the “trust our people” libertarian line, road lockdowns are unnecessary if we trust people to gauge the road conditions and make their own decisions about the importance of their trips. And emergency responders don’t have to respond.

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