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I-29, I-94 reopen; clean-up in high gear before another storm hits

Interstates 29 and 94 are open today throughout North Dakota after a late winter storm dropped nearly 20 inches of snow in some areas overnight Sunday.

A pedestrian walks through heavy snowfall in Fargo
A pedestrian walks through heavy snowfall along 2nd St. N. in Fargo on Sunday, April 15, 2013.David Samson / The Forum

Interstates 29 and 94 are open today throughout North Dakota after a late winter storm dropped nearly 20 inches of snow in some areas overnight Sunday.

I-29 was closed between Grand Forks and Fargo for about 5 hours Sunday before being reopened at about 10:30 p.m. However, no travel was advised through much of the state this morning, especially along and south of U.S. Highway 2 in North Dakota.

North Dakota Department of Transportation reopened both interstates late this morning and most roads are open, although travel alert remains in effect because of snow- and slush-covered roads.

A 15-mile stretch N.D. N.D. Highway 66, was closed this morning between Nekoma,N.D., and Milton, N.D., because of snow and wind conditions.

Roads in northwest Minnesota remain open today. However, driving conditions are difficult, according to Minnesota Department of Transportation and Minnesota State Patrol.

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The Herald named the storm Grayson, one of departing editor Mary Jo Hotzler's twin boys. Grayson is technically older than his brother Graham, who will have to wait until 2015 to have a storm named in his honor, providing there are seven storm events that season.

Many schools throughout the region are closed today, while city and county offices opened late.

By mid-afternoon Sunday, the North Dakota legislature canceled today's floor sessions and committee meetings and will resume business Tuesday, according to its website.

Ten inches of snow fell on Bismarck by noon Sunday and the total was 15.8 inches by 7 p.m., said John Hoppes of the National Weather Service office in Grand Forks. He said 16 inches of snow fell on Dickinson in the far southwest corner of the state.

Up to 19 inches of snow will fall on parts of southern North Dakota.

Sheyenne Valley gets blizzard-like stuff

The Sheyenne River Valley north of Valley City was seeing blizzard-like conditions by mid-afternoon Sunday.

Late Sunday afternoon, high winds knocked down a power pole in Northwood, N.D., but no one was hurt and nobody lost power, a Grand Forks County dispatcher said.

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Heavy snow began falling about 3 p.m. Sunday in Cooperstown, N.D., residents said.

"You can't really see half a block," said Presley Painter, a high school junior who works at the Pizza Ranch downtown, about 5 p.m. "I just left our school working on prom decoration. We were going to decorate 'til about 6:30 but they sent everyone home."

Prom is Saturday, she said.

North of Cooperstown, in Finley, only a small coating of snow had fallen by 5 p.m., Sunday, said Amber Peterson, a clerk at the Town & Country Co-op gas station and store.

"But I heard it's not going to stop and is going to snow until tomorrow," she said.

A Grand Forks County Sheriff's deputy reported snow starting about 4:30 p.m., two miles west of Northwood, a dispatcher said.

By 5 p.m., 6 inches of snow had fallen at Kindred, N.D., southwest of Fargo, 9 inches had fallen near Lisbon, N.D.; 5 inches had fallen by then at Lidgerwood, N.D., southwest of Fargo, according to the weather service.

The worst weather was across southern North Dakota.

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Will legislature make up snow day

Travel will be difficult across the entire region today, Hoppes said.

Many churches canceled services Sunday and a few school events were announced as canceled for today across the region.

The state legislature is limited to 80 days for its biennial session, which was scheduled to end May 3, a Friday.

Today would have been its 67th day in session, according to the Legislative Council's website. Lawmaking will resume at 8 a.m. Tuesday. It's not clear if today's cancellation will add a day in May to the session.

Snow plows were pulled Sunday across much of southern North Dakota because of zero visibility.

Most of south-central North Dakota is in a blizzard warning, with winds high enough and snowfall enough to create blizzard conditions.

Meanwhile, April keeps looking like it might set a record for cold.

As of Sunday morning, the average daily temperature at the Grand Forks International Airport had averaged 26 degrees, 11.5 degrees below normal.

Even colder sounding is that the daily high temperatures have been averaging about 20 degrees below normal, Hoppes said.

"The highs have been in the lower or mid-30s and this time of year we average lower 50s for highs."

The next week or more looks like more of the same, with highs averaging around 30 degrees, 20 degrees or more below normal, he said.

That will continue to delay spring thawing.

The Red River between Grand Forks and East Grand Forks was gauged at 16.33 feet Sunday, well below minor flood stage of 28 feet, Hoppes said.

Of course, this time of year once the weather warms up, it can happen fast,sparking a rapid melt, he said.

And snow pack levels are far deeper in the south and north ends of the Red River Valley than in the Grand Forks area, he said.

Father and son duo Mark and Chase Hentges prep for a live shot with Janel Klein for the Weather Channel
Father and son duo Mark and Chase Hentges prep for a live shot with Janel Klein for the Weather Channel while broadcasting from Broadway in downtown Fargo on Sunday, April 15, 2013.David Samson / The Forum

Related Topics: WEATHER
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