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Winter storm causes few major problems in region, less snow predicted for weekend

The almost constant snowfall Wednesday caused several cancellations but not many accidents in the Grand Forks area, and meteorologists say the snow should ease up Thursday.

UND student John Anchieta rides across campus
UND student John Anchieta greets friends as he rides across campus on a snowy Wednesday morning. (Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald)

The almost constant snowfall Wednesday caused several cancellations but not many accidents in the Grand Forks area, and meteorologists say the snow should ease up Thursday.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the North Dakota Highway Patrol hadn't seen any crashes in the area, said Sgt. Dolf Oldenburg of the highway patrol office in Grand Forks. He said North Dakota Department of Transportation snowplows were plowing the highways.

There were about five or six car accidents in Grand Forks Wednesday, "which isn't out of the ordinary," said Sgt. Kevin Kallinen, of the Grand Forks Police Department.

"The weather, of course, probably had something to do with one or two of them," Kallinen said.

A Grand Forks woman suffered severe injuries after her leg was caught in a snowblower, at about 10 a.m. Wednesday.


Emergency personnel responded to the 54-year-old woman's address, where her pants leg had been caught in the snowblower's blades while her husband was snowblowing.

The Grand Forks Fire Department and Altru paramedics were able to extract the woman's leg by cutting some of the snowblower's metal blades, according to a Grand Forks Police Department news release. The woman was transported to Altru Hospital.


East Grand Forks was pretty quiet during the storm, said Officer Kyle Steever, of the East Grand Forks Police Department. He said there weren't any accidents Tuesday or Wednesday.

There weren't any accidents on the highways near East Grand Forks either, said Sgt. Jesse Grabow, of Minnesota Highway Patrol.

In northwestern Minnesota, there were two crashes near Bemidji and 11 vehicles went off the road, none with injuries.

Although there weren't many accidents, all of the officers cautioned drivers to be aware of the weather conditions. North Dakota Department of Transportation issued a travel alert at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, meaning drivers can still travel but should be prepared for challenging road conditions.



The weather did cause many closures and cancellations in the region.

Circle of Friends Humane Society in Grand Forks was closed Wednesday, and the Grand Forks Planning and Zoning Commission meeting was canceled.

First Assembly of God Church in Crookston, Calvary Lutheran Church and First Presbyterian Church in Grand Forks and First Lutheran Church in East Grand Forks were among the several churches that canceled activities.

UND canceled evening classes Wednesday.

Crookston Public Schools dismissed classes at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday and canceled after-school activities. All public school classes were canceled in Emerado, N.D., and Devils Lake.


As of 6 p.m. it had snowed 6½ inches Wednesday, said Vince Godon, meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Grand Forks. Added to Tuesday's snowfall, the total amount of snow for this storm was about 6.8 inches as of Wednesday evening, Godon said.

There could be another inch added to that total by this morning, he said.


It shouldn't snow much more Thursday or through the weekend, said Pete Speicher, another meteorologist with the weather service.

"It's going to be more of a wind chill concern for the rest of the week," he said.

The "rapidly dropping" temperatures will probably reach single digits Thursday, and the high for Friday will probably be in the single digits, Speicher said.

Call Haley at (701) 780-1102; (800) 477-6572, ext. 1102; or send email to chaley@gfherald.com .

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