The Jamestown area saw 14 inches of snowfall as of 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, according to Ken Simosko, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Bismarck. Simosko said a total of 17 inches is expected in Jamestown, with precipitation continuing into Sunday morning.
He said Jamestown's record snowfall in a three-day period in the month of October was 5.2 inches in 1959.
"Jamestown has seen a record snowfall already today," he said. "They (Jamestown) beat that record by a long shot."
The forecast for Friday evening included 1 to 2 inches of snowfall. Simosko said the forecast predicts another inch of snowfall Saturday morning and another half-inch Saturday afternoon.
A total of 17 inches of snowfall is expected to hit Jamestown by the end of the weekend.
"Right now, we're dealing with a no travel advisory," said Chad Kaiser, Stutsman County sheriff. "The interstate is shut down from here to Bismarck."
Interstate 94 closed eastbound from Bismarck to Valley City and westbound from Fargo to Bismarck Friday, according to the North Dakota Department of Transportation.
Kaiser said road closures would more than likely continue through Saturday based on the weather forecast. Roads may not open back up until after Sunday morning.
Several accidents and slide-offs occurred both on the interstate as well as in rural areas of the county.
"We put out the no travel advisory due to the amount of snow on the road," Kaiser said. "The road conditions are deteriorating and visibility on the road is deteriorating."
Kaiser said one of the accidents includes a Jefferson Lines bus that was stranded on Interstate 94 at mile-marker 233 near Medina around 10 a.m. on Friday. The Stutsman County Sheriff's Office responded to the bus and were able to transport the 42 passengers back to Jamestown, where they found shelter at a hotel.
While transporting the bus passengers, he said, officers picked up between 10 and 15 motorists stranded on the interstate.
"We've had people that were stuck; we've gotten those people rescued," Kaiser said. "I've never seen anything like it this early in the year, not in my career."
"I've never seen this amount of snowfall this early," Simosko echoed. "It's historical, really. These amounts are fairly rare, especially in Jamestown."
Kaiser said people should err on the side of caution when it comes to driving in the current weather conditions.
"Jamestown is pretty hard to get through, especially without a pickup truck," Kaiser said.
Two children were also reported missing at approximately 12 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11. Kaiser said the two individuals were likely around 9 and 11 years old and were found shortly after the Jamestown Police Department and Jamestown Fire Department responded to the call. The sheriff's office assisted with the call.