Dickinson digs out

Things in Dickinson and surrounding areas were getting back to normal Wednesday after the area was hit with rain and more than a half a foot of snow Monday and Tuesday.

Press Photo by Ashley Martin Sarah Dobitz, left, and Hayley Bentz, who are both 10 years old, play in a snow hill near Heart River Elementary School Wednesday. School was cancelled Tuesday, but was open again Wednesday.

Things in Dickinson and surrounding areas were getting back to normal Wednesday after the area was hit with rain and more than a half a foot of snow Monday and Tuesday.

There were a few accidents and a man lost a finger while using a snow blower on 13th Avenue East Tuesday.

No travel advisories didn't stop many Stark County residents from venturing out.

Capt. Tony Huck with the North Dakota Highway Patrol said one motorist had minor injuries after crashing Wednesday. He said the Highway Patrol responded to about four other accidents in Stark County and surrounding areas from Monday to Wednesday afternoon. Huck added at least 35 motorists in the area called for help when their vehicles became stuck in the snow.

Huck said groups of seven to 10 vehicles were stuck on the Interstate near Richardton and Glen Ullin.


"The plows couldn't keep up and we had all these vehicles getting stuck and the Interstate was closed because you couldn't get around them," Huck said, adding four officers from Bismarck assisted.

The Dickinson Police Department was busy responding to 22 property accidents from Monday night into Wednesday afternoon and assisted at least 12 motorists who were stuck in the snow during the same time period.

The number doesn't include all of those who could be seen digging themselves out of snow banks and parking lots across town.

"That amount of accidents really ties us up," said Lt. Rod Banyai from the Dickinson Police Department.

The Stark County Sheriff's Department responded to six property accidents and helped 11 people who were caught in the snow.

"With where we had to go and what we had to do, four-wheel-drive was a godsend," said Sheriff Clarence Tuhy.

Tow trucks have also been busy pulling people out.

"Monday night we started early in the evening and just about went all night," said Cordell Zeien, owner of Alternative Wrecker Service. "We had to chain both trucks up at different points."


He said his crew pulled about 10 cars and 30 semi trucks out of the snow from Monday till Wednesday.

Several businesses and every school in Dickinson shut down Tuesday. Schools were open Wednesday, but busses did not run in rural areas. Paul Stremick, Dickinson Public Schools superintendent said it was because several county roads were in rough shape Wednesday morning.

"We didn't want to get out there and endanger the students by having them become stuck," Stremick said. "We had some parents bring their child in because they worked in town and other ones actually had called because they're still snowed in and can't get out yet."

Rocky Cofer, Trinity High School principal, said all three catholic schools also opened Wednesday.

"We had a few rural students who didn't make it in because of the roads, but I think that for the most part, we had a pretty good turn out," Cofer said.

Kevin Birk, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Bismarck, said the storm dropped about 8 inches in Dickinson Monday and Tuesday. He said other than colder temperatures the area will have a bit of a break from nasty weather.

"The next chance of another storm might be sometime next week," Birk said.

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