FARGO — Interstate 94 from Fargo to Bismarck and Interstate 29 from Grand Forks to Fargo will remain closed overnight Saturday due to strong winds causing blowing and drifting snow, areas of zero visibility, and life-threatening driving conditions.
Motorists are not allowed to travel on a closed road due to life-threatening conditions. The road may be impassible or blocked.
A no-travel advisory across eastern North Dakota will also remain in effect.
No-travel advisories and road closures remain in place in eastern and central North Dakota and in South Dakota due to dangerous road conditions.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation said visibility is improving as wind speeds decrease, but said drivers should still use caution, as blowing snow and snowdrifts may still be a problem -- particularly in open areas.
The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Warning for the western edge of Minnesota. Total snowfall predictions vary, but forecasted wind gusts of 50 miles per hour, in some areas, could lead to dangerous travel conditions.
Road conditions remain dangerous in eastern and central North Dakota, where Interstate 29 remains closed from Grand Forks to the Fargo. Both northbound and southbound lanes are closed due to zero visibility and snowdrifts from high winds and blowing snow. NDDOT warned that I-29 may be impassible or blocked and that conditions on the road are life-threatening.
No-travel advisories have been extended to cities in central and south-central North Dakota, where snowfall and blowing snow have caused near-zero visibility on the roads. A "no travel advised" alert means motorists should not travel due to hazardous conditions which may make it unsafe to travel.
Cities affected by the no-travel advisory include:
- Interstate 94 and Interstate 29 in Cass, Richland and Traill Counties
- Fargo and surrounding areas
- Grand Forks
- Devils Lake
- Valley City
The North Dakota Highway Patrol said motorists who drive past a road closure device may be fined up to $250. North Dakota road condition information is available on this travel map. The map is updated daily from 5 a.m. until 10 p.m.
Fargo-Moorhead metro and Greater Grand Forks:
The Fargo police and public works closed 19th Avenue North from Dakota Drive North to 18th Street North Friday morning.
The city of Moorhead also issued a no-travel advisory around 1:30 p.m. due to adverse weather conditions. Severe drifting caused several vehicles to get stuck, blocking roads.
Just before 5 p.m. Friday, Moorhead declared a snow emergency. Parking restrictions are now in effect on primary and secondary snow emergency routes to make room for plows. Information on routes can be found on the city of Moorhead website.
The Dilworth Police Department announced a snow emergency in its city Friday night, and said crews would be out on streets at 8 a.m. to clear snow. Police warned that all vehicles need to be off streets and are subject to a ticket or towing if not moved.
The city of East Grand Forks is declaring a snow emergency effective 12 a.m. that will remain in effect until streets are cleared of snow. Parking is not allowed on city streets during a snow emergency in East Grand Forks, and vehicles can be ticketed or towed.
Sheriff Mark Empting sent out a no-travel alert for Clay County in Minnesota Friday morning.
MnDOT snowplow crews were prepared for overnight snow Friday, which was forecast to taper off by Saturday evening. Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead and be wary of blizzard-like conditions.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation shares these safety trips if motorists need to travel during these winter weather conditions:
- Call 511 or visit 511mn.org before leaving on your trip to get current road conditions.
- Turn on your headlights and wear your seat belt.
- Turn off your cruise control.
- Slow down; allow at least 10 car lengths between your vehicle and a plow.
- Stay behind the snowplow. The road behind a snowplow is safer to drive on.
- Watch for snowplows that turn or exit frequently, and often with little warning.
- Never drive into a snow cloud.