Weather Forecast


Snow causes slick roads

Press Photo by Ashley Martin 12-year-old Trinity Elementary students front row from left Jaret Lee and Brooke Kuntz, along with back row from left Lance Reiter, Dillon Praus, Salisa Peterson and Colton Steiner, make the most of a winter storm that dropped several inches of snow on the area by making a giant snowball during recess Wednesday afternoon.

Motorists slid around, off roads and into each other during Tuesday and Wednesday storms and one fatal crash was reported, authorities said.

About eight motorists called police to report fender benders or to get pulled off the road or out of snowbanks Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, Dickinson Police Lt. Rod Banyai said.

"With the freezing rain it's slippery and everything," Banyai said.

Michael Merwin, a 41-year-old Hettinger man, was killed when his truck rolled Tuesday.

Merwin's Ford pickup went out of control on icy U.S. Highway 12 about three miles east of Hettinger and rolled in the ditch, according to the North Dakota Highway Patrol. He was trapped in the vehicle by compacted snow that entered the window when it broke.

Shane McClough, a 22-year-old passenger from Hettinger, was able to get out of the vehicle, according to NDHP. McClough was treated at a medical center and released.

Merwin was pronounced dead at a Hettinger medical center.

Another vehicle rollover in Dunn County did not lead to injuries, said Highway Patrol Capt. Tony Huck. The rollover occurred on U.S. Highway 200 Wednesday morning.

"There were several calls of people going in the ditch," Huck said.

The added moisture may cause other issues, said Brent Pringle, Stark County emergency manager.

"How that's going to affect us as far as water equivalency, it will probably add another 3/4 to an inch of water to the system," Pringle said. "I think our biggest concern is ice jamming."

He added water levels in Green and Heart rivers as well as in Patterson Lake are low, which will be a benefit.

"They're starting to open up now, which is good because now water will start moving down," Pringle said.

Moving snow away from homes to prevent water damage is a good idea, Pringle said, and it's also a good idea to remove snow from gutters and roofs if possible.

"This could potentially affect or cause more damage due to leaky roofs," Pringle said. "The thicker, heavy stuff weighs more. That could be an issue for some homeowners."

Doug Perry, owner of Perry Roofing and Contracting in Dickinson, said erratic temperatures have caused in influx in business.

"You get a heavy snow load and you get temperatures above freezing and the snow wants to melt and it freezes again at night and you've got ice dams that build up," he said.

He expects this storm to contribute to the problem.

The storm should not cause power outages, Pringle said.

"This stuff should not cause as much damage to power lines, because there wasn't ice attached to it in the beginning," Pringle said.

The storm produced 3.4 inches of snow in Dickinson by Wednesday morning, said Heather Buchman, Accuweather meteorologist.

"Originally we were thinking a storm total of 3 to 6 inches, so it looks like that's going to pan out," Buchman said.

It is expected to snow through this morning and taper off this afternoon, Buchman said. She expects a high temperature of 36 today.

Temperatures this weekend will be in the lower 40s with dryer conditions, she said.

By March last year, Dickinson had 79.5 inches of snow. So far this year Dickinson has had 31.2 inches, Buchman said.