So much for springStorm more than expected; slows SW ND Many southwest North Dakota residents looking out their windows Tuesday were annoyed to say the least. Not even closing and re-opening the blinds could make the snow disappear.
Many southwest North Dakota residents looking out their windows Tuesday were annoyed to say the least. Not even closing and re-opening the blinds could make the snow disappear.
Sunday was the first day of spring but southwest North Dakota was hit with an onslaught of snow and ice. Though the storm wasn’t forecast to slam the area like it did, the city of Dickinson declared a snow emergency, numerous businesses and government departments closed up shop early and emergency shelters opened up because of blowing snow and low visibility. The Department of Transportation stayed busy issuing travel alerts and road closures.
All non-emergency Stark County and Dickinson operations, along with the Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport, Dickinson State University and the Dunn County Courthouse were among those to close.
No travel was advised nearly everywhere in western North Dakota, including Dickinson. Dunn and McKenzie County emergency managers reported jackknifed semi-trailers and cars in the ditch Tuesday.
Parking on snow emergency routes in Dickinson was also prohibited, according to a press release.
Belfield Public School called classes off early and Dickinson and Killdeer’s rural students were bussed home shortly after noon but school stayed open for those in town.
At 2:40 p.m. Tuesday, emergency managers across southwestern North Dakota were reporting between 3 and 8 inches of snow.
“It’s wet and heavy snow, like a slushy — the wind is blowing, it’s cold outside and yet when you look at the ground the snow is melting,” McKenzie County Emergency Manager Jerry Samuelson said.
Though there has been concern about flooding for the past few months, area emergency managers agree that because of all the melting last week and some flood preparation, this new snowfall should not be a problem.
Because of the no travel advisement and lack of hotel rooms the McKenzie and Stark County Red Cross chapters opened up shelters in Watford City and Dickinson for stranded travelers.
As of about 4 p.m., four people planned to stay at the Stark County shelter at Dickinson State University, said Stark County Interim Emergency Manager Gary Kostelecky.
“We had 10 to begin with but we managed to find hotel rooms for six,” he said.
No information was available for the Watford City shelter.
Accuweather Meteorologist Bob Smerbeck said temperatures will be on the cool side the rest of the week, but was hopeful that by next week North Dakota would once again see sunshine.