Area Digs out After Big Winter Storm

Local law enforcement and snow removal crews were busy Monday dealing with the aftermath of nearly a foot of heavy, wet snow that fell on the area Sunday.

According to the National Weather Service, eight to 10 inches of snow, equal to four to six inches of moisture, fell from Sunday morning to Monday morning in Valley City with more snow recorded south of the city.

Travel became treacherous on Sunday with icy roads and blowing snow causing white-out conditions. Interstate 94 was closed from Jamestown east to Alexandria, Minn. from Sunday afternoon to late morning on Monday.

Valley City and surrounding schools were cancelled on Monday, as were all school-related activities.

Road crews in Valley City were out in force beginning at midnight Sunday, and continued through 3 p.m. on Monday, according to Stan Hansen who works for the city’s electrical department. Crews will started at midnight Monday.

Valley City’s snow emergency routes were done but residential areas were not finished, according to Hansen. Alleyways will be the last to be cleared.

“We’ve had very few complaints,” Hansen said. He pointed out that the area hasn’t had as much snow for several years.

Barnes County road crews finished plowing county roads by noon on Monday, but still had about two-thirds of its 35 township roads to contend with, according to Kerry Johnson, Barnes County Road Superintendent.

According to Johnson, Barnes County has about 1,100 miles to plow after a snow event, and much of that needs to be done in daylight.
Accidents were abundant throughout the region, but no serious injuries were reported.

According to Valley City Police Chief Fred Thompson, the hazardous driving conditions contributed to only a few minor fender-benders.
Barnes County Sheriff Randy McClaflin reported no serious accidents, though several rollovers and vehicles in ditches were reported on Sunday.
The North Dakota Highway Patrol reported several accidents in the region Sunday but none on Monday, according to Captain Bryan Niewind of the Jamestown Highway Patrol Office. According to Niewind, Interstate 94 was clear on Monday, but still had a layer of ice under the snow, so driving was still dangerous.

While the interstate was open, the North Dakota Department of Transportation still advised no travel in the region on Monday evening.
“Folks are better off staying at home,” said Thompson. “Stay off the roads if at all possible until the roads are cleared.”