Grand Forks County clearing out nearly 100 blocked roads

Typically the county plows them to keep them open, but said that this year the task has become impossible.

A plow works to open up a road blocked by snow.
Matt Henson / WDAY News

GRAND FORKS — Despite not a single flake falling from the sky, plows are still working to move several feet of snow in Grand Forks County.

They're busy trying to dig out roads they gave up on for part of the winter.

Grand Forks County Highway Department Superintendent John Cash admits it's been quite the learning experience. This is his first winter on the job after taking over for his predecessor who had been with the highway department for nearly 60 years.

For the past three years, Cash has been one of the two-dozen workers focused on digging out after a storm. This year he's overseeing the dig out process.

One of those crews was working to break through a closed township road near Thompson, North Dakota.


"It hasn't been the winter with the most snow, but it has been the winter with the most challenges," said plow driver Luke Myrun.

Numerous windy days with constantly blowing snow has made it nearly impossible to keep the roads that go from East to West open.

Just after breaking through several feet of snow on the township road, the plow shut down after a fluid line broke.

"It's been the story of the winter. There's rarely a day where every piece of equipment is going at the same time. There's usually one or two that are always having issues. You fix one and another one breaks. It's a continuation," Myrun said.

In all, about 100 township roads that are normally plowed have not been plowed for the past couple weeks. Homeowners in these areas have a way out, it just may not be the quickest.

"All we can ask for is a little patience, a little patience from our community. We are trying our hardest," said plow driver Kyle Moen.

While some are focused on roads, eight excavators were out Wednesday, March 29, clearing culverts in anticipation of a potential major flood this spring.

"I had hair before it started," Moen said. "It's been a tough go. We are ready for it to be over with."

Matt Henson is an Emmy award-winning reporter/photographer/editor for WDAY. Prior to joining WDAY in 2019, Matt was the main anchor at WDAZ in Grand Forks for four years. He was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia and attended college at Lyndon State College in northern Vermont, where he was recognized twice nationally, including first place, by the National Academy for Arts and Science for television production. Matt enjoys being a voice for the little guy. He focuses on crimes and courts and investigative stories. Just as often, he shares tear-jerking stories and stories of accomplishment. Matt enjoys traveling to small towns across North Dakota and Minnesota to share their stories. He can be reached at and at 610-639-9215. When he's not at work (rare) Matt resides in Moorhead and enjoys spending time with his daughter, golfing and attending Bison and Sioux games.
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