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Blowing winds, icy roads hamper travel

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A no travel advisory is in effect for Grand Forks and surrounding areas, including the cities of Michigan, Drayton, Cavalier and Pembina, because of blowing snow causing zero visibility.

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A travel alert remains in effect for the southeast region, including Fargo, Hillsboro and Wahpeton, because of blowing snow sticking to roadways and creating areas of scattered ice. The DOT encouraged motorists to reduce speeds and drive according to the conditions.

Cass County Sheriff's Deputy Lance Kitzan said just before 7 a.m. that visibility on Interstate 94 generally fluctuated from 5 miles to half a mile, though strong wind gusts limited visibility to as little as one-eighth of a mile in spots, he said.

"I'm coming up pretty close to West Fargo here, and I can't see the city lights yet," he

Kitzan said he had responded to multiple rollover accidents on I-94 this morning, none involving serious injury. Blowing snow was causing drifting on some county roads, including at the intersection of county roads 16 and 17 south of Horace.

"It's not a good time to be on the road," he said.

A blizzard warning is in effect until 6 p.m. today for northeastern North Dakota and as far south as Traill, Steele and Griggs counties.

Two to 10 inches of snowfall is expected from northeastern North Dakota into northwestern Minnesota, the National Weather Service said.

The heaviest snowfall, 5 to 10 inches, will occur closer to the international border, while 2 to 5 inches is expected along and north of U.S. Highway 2, the weather service said. Lighter snow will fall to the south, with less than an inch in the forecast.

As of 6 a.m., Grand Forks had received 3.4 inches of snow in the previous 24 hours.

North to northwest winds will increase to 30 to 40 mph, with higher gusts over the Red River Valley creating blizzard conditions in areas with fresh snowfall, the weather service said.

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