Early closings and cancellations along with travel advisories may have kept the number of accidents to a minimum during a winter storm Monday, according to local law enforcement.
Chad Kaiser, Stutsman County sheriff, issued a no-travel advisory for the county at around noon Tuesday. Deteriorating conditions prompted the advisory with decreasing temperatures and wind with continuous snowfall expected into Tuesday, he said.
“The plows are not going to be out until later tonight or early morning,” Kaiser said. “The wind is scary because it can come up quickly without you even knowing it.”
Road conditions on the interstate and state highways were also bad with slush turning to ice as temperatures decrease, he said. Early closings and cancellations helped reduce accidents, he said.
“We have only been on a couple of calls on the interstate so far and they have been minor calls,” Kaiser said.
The National Weather Service reported snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches on Monday with another 2 to 4 inches of snow possible overnight into Tuesday.
City of Jamestown, Stutsman County and North Dakota state offices closed all nonessential activities by 2 p.m. Monday. Only emergency communications and uniformed law enforcement personnel remained on duty.
Jamestown schools were closed on Monday. Continued closings would be announced early Tuesday morning, said Robert Lech, superintendent of Jamestown Public School District.
The North Dakota Department of Transportation and North Dakota Highway Patrol extended a no-travel advisory into Tuesday for northwest, central and portions of eastern North Dakota. A travel alert remained in effect for the remainder of the state to include Jamestown and Valley City.
Jamestown Police Department reported that accidents were minimal despite hazardous conditions on Monday, according to Lt. Robert Opp, day shift commander. Area closings and the Sheriff’s Office advisory helped to keep traffic as light as possible, he said.
“We’re keeping an eye on the weather and an eye on the streets to make sure the city comes out and sands them if needed,” Opp said.
All flights were canceled Monday at Jamestown Regional Airport, according to Sam Seafeldt, airport manager. A maintenance delay became a weather cancellation once rain and snow started to freeze and the airport was closed due to icy runways, he said.
The Tuesday morning flight was also canceled, he said. Continued de-icing activities will determine if Tuesday afternoon and evening flights remain scheduled, he said.
“We were pushing snow for most of the day but we were unable to keep up with the blowing snow and once we scraped it off it was all ice underneath,” Seafeldt said. “We will continue de-icing tomorrow (Tuesday) morning to make sure we are open by afternoon.”
Jamestown snow removal will start at 5 a.m. Tuesday, depending on accumulation and changing conditions, according to Sarah Hellekson city administrator for Jamestown. Snow removal in the residential areas will start at approximately 11 a.m., and city crews will start downtown at approximately 11 p.m., she said.
Most areas of central North Dakota reported 3 to 6 inches with peak band areas south of Jamestown, where 10 inches of snow were reported in Edgeley, said Todd Hamilton, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Bismarck. A more accurate snowfall total will be determined Tuesday, he said.
If 3 to 5 inches of snow fell in the Jamestown area Monday and another 3 to 5 inches falls by Tuesday morning then the total could be in the 8- to 12-inch range, Hamilton said. Weaker and faster weather systems will pass through Jamestown for the rest of the week and could produce less than an inch of snow, he said.