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I-29, U.S. Highway 2 reopen as region digs out from blizzard

The North Dakota Department of Transportation shared photos of snowdrifts and stranded vehicles on Interstate 94 near Jamestown.1 / 3
The North Dakota Department of Transportation shared photos of snowdrifts and stranded vehicles on Interstate 94 near Jamestown.2 / 3
The North Dakota Department of Transportation shared photos of snowdrifts and stranded vehicles on Interstate 94 near Jamestown.3 / 3

All major highways are open after being closed Thursday and Friday morning in the wake of Blizzard Geraldine.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol tweeted Friday at 6 a.m. and said there is a heavy concentration of snowplows along Interstate 29 and Interstate 94. Both highways closed Thursday around 5 a.m. as snow continued to fall and wind gusts picked up.

Blizzard Geraldine hit the region Wednesday night with heavy snow that continued overnight. National Weather Service reports showed the heaviest winds hit around midday Thursday and snowfall slowed by evening, leaving just breezes overnight.

The Herald named the blizzard Geraldine after Geraldine Pearson, who has been a Herald carrier since 1981, and in honor of all Herald carriers braving this ugly winter.

The Herald has been naming blizzards for nearly three decades. The paper traditionally names storms after people who are in the news or prominent in the community.

Most of northeastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota saw between 4-7 inches, which was significantly lower than initial estimates of 6-12 inches.

The snowfall paired with heavy wind gusts of up to 55 mph caused large snow drifts, whiteout conditions and what NDDOT called “life-threatening driving conditions.” U.S. Highway 2, Interstate 29 and Interstate 94 were closed most of Thursday and into Friday morning. Interstate 94 was the last to open at 1 p.m. Friday. Some roads in southeastern North Dakota remained closed Friday afternoon.

The Highway Patrol tweeted out photos from Buffalo, N.D., Friday morning which show snow piled nearly as high as patrol cars along both sides of Interstate 94.

U.S. Highway 75 reopened at 9:30 a.m. from the Canadian border to Crookston, although several other highways in northwestern Minnesota were still shut down Friday morning.