MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – An early October snowstorm is whirling its way through eastern North Dakota, making travel dangerous across the state. As of 12:10 p.m., the North Dakota Department of Transportation has closed the following roads:
- Interstate 94 westbound from Bismarck to Fargo
- Interstate 94 eastbound from Bismarck to Valley City
- Interstate 29 northbound and southbound from Grand Forks to the Canadian border.
- U.S. Highway 2 eastbound and westbound from Rugby to Larimore.
- Secondary state highways are also impassable and have been blocked.
In addition, officials have issued a No Travel Advisory to the cities of Bismarck, Harvey, Carrington, Devil’s Lake, Rolla, and surrounding areas. Other areas with a No Travel Advisory include Grand Forks, Drayton, Grafton, Pembina, Cooperstown, and Edgeley, Medina, Jamestown, and Valley City.
The area around Devil’s Lake is experiencing heavy snow and white out conditions. NDDOT decided to close the highways due to the limited number of shelters available to drivers. Those who can’t continue through Barnes, Stutsman, and Kidder counties may not be able to access hotel rooms, parking, or restaurants if the snow continues.
#NDHP advises motorists traveling east on US 2, or southeast along US 52 from Minot to stop and find accommodations in Minot or at locations before reaching Minot. If this becomes an extended closure, access to hotel rooms, parking, or restaurants will become limited.@NDResponse pic.twitter.com/rm9CMhm8Q4
— NDHP (@NDHighwayPatrol) October 11, 2019
The National Weather Service has issued an official blizzard warning, predicting six to twelve inches of snow accumulation along the Red River. The northeastern portion of the state could see accumulation of one to two feet. The blizzard warning is in effect until 1 p.m. Saturday.
For now, snowplows in the Devil’s Lake area have been pulled from the roads because of the low visibility. NDDOT says they will resume work when it is safe to do so.
Here's the latest snowfall forecast, (additional snowfall) from Friday afternoon through Saturday afternoon. pic.twitter.com/lj0fTbjW75
— NWS Bismarck (@NWSBismarck) October 11, 2019
The blizzard is expected to hurtle its way towards Minnesota this evening. The National Weather Service predicts central Minnesota will be covered with three to five inches of snow by Saturday morning, with more continuing to fall throughout the day. Winds could also pick up to around 45 mph, which will cause the snow to blow and drift.