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Midweek storm hits region with snow, 50 mph winds

West Fargo Schools call off classes, Fargo schools delay start

A pedestrian walks across a snow-swept street
A pedestrian walks across snow-swept downtown Fargo early Wednesday morning, Jan. 5, 2022.
W. Scott Olsen / Special to The Forum
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FARGO — A winter storm that blasted across the region on Tuesday night, Jan. 4, and into Wednesday morning prompted school officials in West Fargo to cancel classes for Wednesday, while Fargo school officials announced a two-hour delay to the start of school.

The storm affected many parts of the Red River Valley, reaching the Fargo-Moorhead area around 7 p.m. Tuesday carrying winds gusting to near 50 mph at times, according to the National Weather Service.

A blizzard warning that was in place for Tuesday night expired Wednesday morning, replaced with a winter weather advisory for localized blowing snow that was in place for much of Wednesday.

winterWeather_5.jpg
A man in south Fargo helped jump a car on Wednesday, Jan 5. 2022.
Chris Flynn / The Forum

The Fargo-Moorhead area received about 2.8 inches of snow from Tuesday night's storm, while some areas farther north in the Red River Valley, including the Grand Forks area, received up to 5 inches in some spots, according to Jacob Spender, a weather service meteorologist in Grand Forks.

Spender said a wind gust of 47 mph was reported at Hector International Airport in Fargo around 4:45 a.m. Wednesday, and a 52 mph gust was recorded in Grand Forks about 4:30 a.m.

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At least one community in the region — Wahpeton, North Dakota — met the criteria for a blizzard for white-out conditions and high wind speeds, according to Spender.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol reported that a Highway Patrol vehicle that was working traffic control on Interstate 94 near Jamestown was struck by another vehicle Wednesday afternoon.

According to the report:

A trooper was conducting traffic control in the right lane of I-94 due to a vehicle that had been left unattended after striking a guardrail.

Snow plows were working to clear the left lane of the interstate when a passenger car and an SUV went around a parked plow and moved to the right lane to pass another snow plow.

As the passenger car slowed, it was struck from behind by the SUV, which forced the passenger car into the Highway Patrol vehicle.

Occupants of the SUV were taken to Jamestown Regional Medical Center, according to the report, which said the incident remains under investigation.

State troopers in west-central Minnesota responded to four vehicle crashes overnight Tuesday, though none involved injuries, said Sgt. Jesse Grabow of the Minnesota State Patrol.

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State Patrol images
Semi trucks rest in the ditch of Interstate 94 near Rothsay, Minn., as a result of the storm that struck the region Tuesday night, Jan. 4.
Minnesota State Patrol photo.

Troopers assisted 17 other motorists whose vehicles slid off roads and required help from troopers or tow truck drivers, Grabow said.

On Tuesday, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum issued an order waiving hours-of-service requirements for truck drivers hauling propane. The order will be in place for 30 days.

"North Dakota faces extremely low inventories of propane as a result of market conditions impacted by severe seasonal weather and increased heating fuel demands," the governor's office said in a statement. "Waiving the hours of service requirement will help carriers avoid delays and deliver propane to meet the state’s needs."

The high temperature in the Fargo-Moorhead area Thursday is expected to reach to only minus 13. The low Thursday night is anticipated to be around minus 24.

The not-so-bad news: by Saturday, the high temp is expected to reach to about 22 degrees — above zero.

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
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