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Winter storm disruptions continue into Saturday

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The Dickinson Press
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A major early-season winter storm that pounded parts of the Northern Plains with snow beginning Friday continued to cause disruptions into Saturday in areas south of Dickinson.

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In Hettinger, Adams County Emergency Manager Michele Marthaller said Saturday afternoon that private citizens, in some cases, came to the rescue of stranded motorists in the county on snowmobiles.

"We just have a lot of snow," Marthaller said. "The city crews are out and the county crews are out moving snow. Everyone from law enforcement personnel to the fire department has been busy."

The National Weather Service in Bismarck reported that Hettinger had received 18 inches of snow as of midday Saturday with the service reporting 12 inches in Mott as of earlier in the day. The storm seemed to taper off to the west and north of Hettinger as Bowman recorded a reported 7 inches of snow and Dickinson showed almost no snow Saturday after minimal accumulation Friday afternoon and evening.

Various "no travel" and "travel advisory" warnings were issued by the North Dakota Department of Transportation on Saturday encompassing a large swath of southwest North Dakota, including a portion of Highway 12 east of Hettinger, which Marthaller said remained close as of 5 p.m. Saturday night.

A recorded message from Slope Electric Cooperative Saturday afternoon stated that "significant portions" of its service area -- which includes Slope, Bowman, Hettinger and Adams counties -- were dealing with service interruptions, though Marthaller said parts of the city of Hettinger had been receiving power again.

"I heard as much as 24 inches of snow fell in some areas and I measured 23 inches on my picnic table," Marthaller said. "We're handling situations as they arise. We had, at one point, from 15 to 17 semis and a few other vehicles stranded on Highway 12. We had tow trucks down from Dickinson (on Saturday). We had people on snowmobiles take people to farm houses and other locations close to where their vehicles were stranded."

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Bryan Horwath
A Wisconsin native, Horwath has been covering news in the Oil Patch of North Dakota since 2012. Horwath currently serves as the senior agriculture and political reporter for The Dickinson Press and, despite the team's tendency to always let him down, remains a diehard Minnesota Vikings fan.
(701) 456-1207
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