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Wind, snow close I-94 from Jamestown to Dickinson

The Jamestown area was forecasted to receive around 10 inches of snow, said Connor Smith, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Bismarck.

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Conditions were a bit blustery Thursday morning, Nov. 10, in the Jamestown area.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun
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JAMESTOWN – Wind and snow Thursday, Nov. 10, caused Interstate 94 to close from Jamestown to Dickinson as well as many business closures here.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation and the North Dakota Highway Patrol closed both lanes of I-94 from Dickinson to Jamestown around 4 p.m. Thursday due to snow and blowing snow causing icy roads and areas of zero visibility. Both lanes of U.S Highway 52 from Harvey to Jamestown were also closed.

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A no-travel advisory means conditions are such that motorists should not travel in these areas due to hazardous winter weather driving conditions.

The NDDOT update says the highways are impassable or blocked due to high winds and drifting snow. Motorists are not allowed to travel on a closed road due to life-threatening conditions, and those who drive past a road closure device may face a $250 fine.

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A shopper unloads her cart Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022, as more snow falls in the Jamestown area.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

Both lanes of I-94 from Jamestown to Fargo were open, but a no-travel advisory remains in effect. A no-travel advisory means conditions are such that motorists should not travel in these areas due to hazardous winter weather driving conditions.

The NDDOT also said secondary roads across North Dakota could become blocked or impassable due to the significant snowfall and high winds creating severe snowdrifts on the highways. The NDDOT said snowdrifts are more prevalent at structures and sheltered areas, and vehicles may become stranded with emergency responders potentially unable to reach motorists safely.

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Stutsman County Sheriff Chad Kaiser said Thursday afternoon the road conditions were not very good in the Jamestown area. He said the roads that weren’t plowed have some snowdrifts.

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A mail carrier was out on his route in Jamestown on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022, as heavy snow covered the ground.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

He said the north-south roads are the worst because of the direction of the wind. He said visibility is limited to about 1 ½ miles but the roads are still slippery.

“You got the snow issue and it’s still slippery underneath,” he said.

The National Weather Service in Bismarck issued a blizzard warning for the Jamestown area until midnight Friday, Nov. 11. The Jamestown area was forecasted to receive around 10 inches of snow, said Connor Smith, a meteorologist with the NWS in Bismarck.

Smith said a Colorado low came through the state that brought a lot of moisture combined with lower temperatures to produce snow. He said Thursday afternoon that Bismarck had received 13 inches. He said locations northeast of Bismarck like Sheridan and Wells counties could get around 18 inches of snow.

“Basically anywhere between Bismarck and Harvey and Carrington could get anywhere between 14 to 18 inches with some local spots getting possibly even higher than that,” he said.

A no-travel advisory was in effect for Stutsman County and other surrounding counties for the majority of the day.

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Enough snow was on the ground early Thursday, Nov. 10, to warrant the use of a snowblower as seen at the Jamestown Fire Department.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

“Most of the roads look like they are snow packed and possibly some ice underneath that from the freezing drizzle last night,” Smith said.

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City crews will begin clearing snow at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 11, in residential areas in Jamestown. City crews will begin clearing snow in the downtown district in Jamestown at 11 p.m. Friday, and all vehicles should be removed from the downtown streets, avenues and alleyways.

Residential and business alleys will be plowed, said Rick Lipetzky, street foreman for the city of Jamestown.

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This ice-coated sign may be a good reminder for motorists and pedestrians alike to use extra caution when navigating in slippery conditions.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

Section 25-10 of the city of Jamestown's ordinance requires a property owner to keep the sidewalk adjoining the property clear of snow and ice. Snow or ice should not be deposited on the city street after the plow has cleared the street. These violations are Class B misdemeanors and will result in a fine.

Smith said the overall winter outlook for the area has a good chance of below-normal temperatures through the winter with normal precipitation in the first half of the season.

“The second half looks like we could get above-average precipitation, so it could be really snowy and wet in February, March and April,” he said.

Smith said the snow should begin tapering off Thursday evening around sunset and the Jamestown area should expect some light snow after that as the Colorado low continues to move to the east and away from the area.

He said to expect temperatures to remain in the single digits or just below zero through the rest of the week. The low on Saturday morning is expected to be in the negative single digits across most of the Jamestown area.

“Highs are going to be pretty much in the teens through the weekend through mid next week,” he said. “Wednesday we could get over 20, but we will have to see.”

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Smith said the wind chills on Saturday will be in the single digits in eastern North Dakota and around zero or below for the western part. He said wind chills will remain around zero on Sunday.

He said there is a slight chance of snow Sunday into Monday east of the Missouri River.

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This was the state of looking through a windshield Wednesday evening in Jamestown. Freezing rain coated everything in sight with ice making driving hazardous. The colors in this photo are from street lights and tail lights from a vehicle.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

Masaki Ova joined The Jamestown Sun in August 2021 as a reporter. He grew up on a farm near Pingree, N.D. He majored in communications at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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