Storm brings winter weather... and winter driving
Two semitrailers north of Killdeer and one west of Mandan jack-knifed on slick roads blocking traffic for a few hours Wednesday. A car also rolled near Belfield and a number of drivers found themselves in the ditch. There have been no reports of injuries, officials said Wednesday.
Wind, snow, icy roads and low visibility are a treacherous combination, said Denise Brew, Dunn County emergency manager.
Highway 22 was blocked off from about 7:30 a.m. until 8:45 a.m. for safe cleanup of a traffic incident that happened Tuesday night.
"Two semis slid into the ditch on U.S. Highway 22," North Dakota Highway Patrol Sgt. Will Vanc saide.
Vance said the semitrailers slid into the ditch about the same time.
"One slid off the road and the other slid into the shoulder/ditch but the tractor was still on the north bound lane," Vance said.
The semitrailers were not damaged.
Highway patrolmen escorted travelers around the scene on Highway 22 Wednesday morning.
The third semi jackknifed in the eastbound lane on Interstate Highway 94 near exit 147, causing I-94 to be blocked from about 12:30 p.m. until 2 p.m. Wednesday. Officers directed traffic while the semitrailer was helped back onto the road, said Peggy Anderson, spokeswoman for the North Dakota Department of Transportation.
Four or five passenger vehicles slid into the ditch on Highway 22 between Killdeer and Mandaree Wednesday, Vance said.
Billings County Emergency Manager Pat Rummel said there was a one-vehicle rollover seven miles north of Belfield and at least one other vehicle in the ditch.
McKenzie County residents had wind speeds up to 47 mph and 5 inches of wet snow, said Jerry Samuelson, McKenzie County emergency manager.
Samuelson said that he received few reports of accidents, but numerous reports of people getting stuck.
Adams, Bowman, Slope, Golden Valley and Hettinger County emergency managers reported blowing and drifting snow but said the roads were good and they had not received any accident reports.
"The only thing drivers really need to look out for today in our area is white outs with the blowing snow," said Ilene Hardmeyer, Hettinger County emergency manager Wednesday.
Justin Povick, meteorologist for accuweather.com said North Dakota was on the tail end of the strongest storm ever to hit Minnesota.
"If this would have hit in January, conditions in both Minnesota and the Dakota's would have been much worse," Povick said.
Povick said the Dickinson area had wind speeds from 40-45 mph and between one and two inches of snow.
Nine inches of snow fell 10 miles north east of Dunn Center.
Watford city had about six inches.
Povick said the snow and winds were expected to decrease leaving temperatures in the 40s today and 50s on Friday.