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Snow creating treacherous driving conditions in southeast North Dakota

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Snow creating treacherous driving conditions in southeast North Dakota
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Snow creating treacherous driving conditions in southeast North Dakota

WAHPETON, N.D. - No travel was advised in the southeast corner of North Dakota Friday morning as heavy snow created treacherous driving conditions that had even a couple of snowplows stuck for a while.

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Plows encountered the most difficult conditions on Interstate 29 near the South Dakota border and on State Highway 13 between Wyndmere and Wahpeton, said Bruce Nord, maintenance superintendent with the North Dakota Department of Transportation.

Numerous vehicles, including semis and tour buses, were getting stuck on the highways, Nord said. Two snowplows briefly got stuck while maneuvering around the stranded vehicles, he said.

"It's pretty rough going," he said.

Snowplows could only go 10 miles per hour in some areas, which wasn't fast enough to throw the heavy snow completely off the roadway. As a result, windrows of snow 4 to 5 feet high built up on the shoulders of I-29, Nord said.

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Area sheriff's dispatchers reported no serious injury accidents.

The no-travel advisory covers the area from Highway 18 to the Minnesota border and from Highway 13 to the South Dakota border.

Because plows focused mainly on areas south of Wahpeton, the stretch of I-29 from Highway 13 to the Walcott exit was just starting to be plowed after 7:30 a.m., Nord said. Snow depths were 5 to 6 inches on the interstate, he said, adding he had to use the plow on the front of his pickup to punch through the white stuff in some areas.

No advisories had been issued in Minnesota as of 8 a.m., but road conditions were slick on Interstate 94 and snow blanketed many secondary roads, dispatchers said. Two semitrailers jackknifed near Evansville, between Fergus Falls and Alexandria, a State Patrol dispatcher said.

A winter storm warning remains in effect until 7 p.m. today for southeast North Dakota and west-central Minnesota.

The National Weather Service said Fargo and Valley City received about 2 inches of snow overnight, while about 5 inches had fallen in the Detroit Lakes and Bemidji, Minn., areas, as of 4 a.m.

Total snowfall of 7 to 12 inches is possible in areas east and south of Fargo, and hazardous driving conditions will continue throughout the day, the weather service said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528

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