Dickinson gets as much as 16 inches of snow as Interstate 94 remains closed
The storm that brought southwest North Dakota to a near standstill has dropped as much as 16 inches of snow in Dickinson and 17 inches in the Glen Ullin area, the National Weather Service said Sunday night.
Sunday's storm pelted North Dakota from Beach to Fargo and north to Highway 2, closing all of Interstate 94 and Interstate 29 from Fargo to Grand Forks. The Montana Departments of Transportation closed Interstate 94 from Glendive to Wibaux.
The National Weather Service said that Bismarck had received 15.8 inches as of 9 p.m. MDT, which shattered the one-day record for April and helped the city set a new record for April snowfall with 19.7 total inches.
The NWS said it does not have records for Dickinson, which had reports anywhere from 11 to 16 inches.
"We're hearing people are struggling to measure because of the wind," National Weather Service meteorologist Corey King said.
The NDDOT began closing the interstate at approximately 1:05 p.m. MDT and started increasing its no-travel advisories, which remain in effect, for all roads in North Dakota south of Highway 2, which runs from Williston to Grand Forks.
Because of zero visibility and icy roads, the Dunn and Stark County Sheriff's Departments issued no-travel advisories for their entire counties early Sunday morning and the Dickinson Police Department did the same for the city of Dickinson.
Bill Fahlsing, the Stark County director of emergency services, said snowplows had been working throughout Sunday to keep emergency routes open and that they won't plow other streets until the snow stops falling.
"The county crews, they're actually staying at the shop tonight," Fahlsing said at 10 p.m. Sunday. "In any emergency, we'll get the roads open to get to the address or location.But I don't have an ETA as far as when the roads will be opened up."
The winter storm had officially dropped 8½ inches in Dickinson by 9:30 a.m. Sunday.
King said determining the amount of snowfall was difficult throughout North Dakota. Accumulations of 12 to 18 inches are the National Weather Service's forecast through midnight.
Denise Brew, the emergency manager for Dunn County, said as much as a foot of snow had fallen in Manning by 2 p.m. and that officials are urging motorists to stay off the roads Monday morning.
"The more we can keep at home, the better," Brew said. "If somebody slides off into a ditch right now ... they're going to be down in there and they're going to be stuck. It's very slick underneath."
She said the Dunn County Sheriff's Department had reported vehicles in the ditch but no major accidents.
"People have got to, tomorrow morning, not expect to get on the road at 7 and go to work," Brew said.
Brew added that storm systems like this tend to usher in high rates of calves being born to cows.
"Those are the people I worry about right now," Brew said.
Brew added that the storm also caused OXY, also known as Occidental Petroleum Corporation, to close its operations for the day.
She said Dunn County officials are urging residents and motorists to take the road closures and no-travel advisories seriously because of the amount of snow that has fallen and blown across open roads throughout the area.
Sgt. Steven Fischer of the North Dakota Highway Patrol said no major traffic incidents have been reported, but there have been multiple property accidents and vehicles in ditches.
"Traffic is starting to slow down quite a bit actually. People are starting to stay put," Fischer said Sunday afternoon.