High Winds Affect Western North Dakota Travel - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

High Winds Affect Western North Dakota Travel

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The wind is picking up, and it's only going to get stronger. Projected wind gusts could hit more than 50 miles per hour tonight. City commuters won't be affected as much as those on the highways.

Semis, SUVs and compact cars are going to have a rough road ahead. Strong winds can sway truck beds, flip cars and cause overall dangerous driving conditions. Truck drivers and troopers say if you can avoid interstate travel tonight do, but if you can't be very aware of your surroundings, anything can happen.

With nothing to block the high winds, it's easy to get swept off the road. High wind warnings and advisories across the state, guarantee difficult travels for any top heavy trucks or semis as well as compact cars.

"When you're driving in traffic, you know, those high conditions you want to maintain, you want to slow down somewhat. You don't want to use cruise control and when you're passing you want to keep two hands on the wheel and keep it steady," says Captain Kyle Kirchmeier, Highway Patrol.

Troopers says they'd prefer if people didn't drive in the high winds to avoid accidents. But, realistically people have to travel regardless of conditions.

 "Just keep going and take your time. And watch for 4 wheelers. They'll be the ones that pass you going over the speed limit. Just be careful," says Kevin Hust, GCC Dakota Driver.

The truck drivers in this story have been driving for more than 80 years. Fortunately, none of them have been in any accidents, but have seen how easy it is, with difficult weather, to be in one.

"I was behind a truck years ago. I was following a van and I was right behind him. I had steel on, I was heavy, I had a load of channels. And it was just like the hand of God, just picked the trailer up, out here in front of me, and just set it right back down," says
David Futrell, Vytis Transport Driver.

Semis that are empty or have light trailers have a greater chance of swaying, tipping or getting pushed into another lane. So, smaller vehicles should avoid being close to or right beside them.

"When the weathers bad and it's running trucks, give them room. Because you don't know how that- you're in your car, you're lower to the ground. You don't see. If it's blowing you around, its two times, it's 10 times worse for a truck driver," says Dennis Storie Prime Incorporated Driver.

If you have to drive avoid semis, give all cars on the road extra space and stay alert.


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