North Dakota

Storm drops 9 inches of snow, more expected – Jamestown Sun

JAMESTOWN — A winter storm dropped 9 inches of snow in Jamestown from Tuesday through Wednesday morning, December 13 and 14, and more are expected to come on Thursday, December 15, according to Alex Edwards, a weather forecaster with the National Weather Service in Bismarck .

A winter storm warning has been extended through 6 a.m. Friday, December 16 for Foster, Kidder, LaMoure, Logan, Stutsman and Wells counties.

Edwards said concern for the storm system is Thursday’s increasing winds. He said wind gusts of around 40 to 45 miles per hour are expected in the Jamestown area.

“This will cause problems especially in the Jamestown area where used snow and this snowfall period will blow around and significantly reduce visibility throughout the day,” he said.

He said another 1 to 2 inches is expected Wednesday midday with another 3 to 4 inches Thursday evening.

“Once that’s all done, it could definitely step over a foot,” Edwards said.

He said the snow that fell Tuesday through Wednesday morning had decent moisture levels. He said North Dakota State Hospital reported 9 inches of snow with a moisture content of 0.6 inches.

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A man pushes a shovel near a snow mountain in downtown Jamestown on Wednesday, December 14, 2022.

John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

“If you add another 3 to 4 inches, you’ll probably see an inch of liquid coming out of it,” he said. “That’ll be a good thing when that finally melts, although a lot of that might drain later this spring.” That depends on how it melts and how fast it melts.”

At 9:00 a.m. Wednesday, December 14, the North Dakota Department of Transportation and the North Dakota Highway Patrol reopened Interstate 94 from Dickinson to Fargo after it closed at 10:00 p.m. Tuesday.

The NDDOT and Highway Patrol closed both lanes of I-94 Dickinson-Jamestown and US Highway 52/281 Minot-Jamestown at 5 p.m. Wednesday due to heavy snowfall, snow drifts and drifts, and areas with no visibility.

A travel advisory remains in effect for Barnes, Dickey, LaMoure, McIntosh and Stutsman counties. A travel alert means that conditions are such that motorists can still drive in those areas but should be alerted to rapidly changing winter driving conditions.

A travel ban warning was issued for Eddy, Foster, Kidder, Logan and Wells counties around 5pm on Wednesday. A no-drive warning means that conditions are such that motorists should not enter these areas due to the hazardous winter weather driving conditions.

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Fresh snow clings to the branches of trees planted along a snow emergency route in Jamestown as seen on Wednesday December 14, 2022.

John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

Stutsman County Sheriff Chad Kaiser said Wednesday afternoon that roads in Jamestown are getting better as city plows clear some streets. Though he hasn’t driven around Stutsman County, he said he’s seen county and state plows at work.

With more snow and strong gusts of wind expected in the Jamestown area Thursday, Kaiser said motorists could see some billowing and drifting roads. With temperatures in the 30s on Wednesday, he said it will depend on what the wind speeds are and how much moisture there is in the snow.

Edwards said lower temperatures are expected after Thursday and into next week. He said temperatures were dropping a little each day and the Jamestown area should expect single-digit highs this weekend.

“Then we expect high temperatures, probably not exceeding zero degrees, early next week,” he said.

Edwards said temperatures are expected to be around 20 to 30 degrees below normal. For Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, December 19-21, he said high temperatures will struggle to cross zero and morning lows could be around minus 10 to almost minus 20.

As weather conditions expected for Thursday were mixed with icy and snowy roads, Kaiser warned motorists to ensure they meet the road conditions. He also said that there are people who drive with cruise control on.

“You shouldn’t do the cruise in the winter,” he said. “If you hit an icy spot, you lose control.”

He said motorists should be prepared and have a winter survival kit and other items in case they get stranded somewhere. He said some people weren’t prepared for the weather and might not even have winter jackets or gloves.

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A tree is covered with snow. A winter storm dropped 9 inches of snow in Jamestown from Tuesday through Wednesday morning, December 13 and 14.

John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

When someone gets stuck in a vehicle, Kaiser said one of the first things a motorist should do is make sure the exhaust isn’t clogged.

During a winter storm event, he said, some people don’t pay attention to travel information like no-travel notices and travel warnings. When roads are closed, motorists will attempt to take a back road to get to their destination, and this also puts law enforcement and first responders at risk from driving in these conditions.

“In the end, we not only take care of things on the closed roads, but also on back roads,” he said. “These back roads… have probably not been touched by a weather event all day. They’re usually only touched after an event, so it’s a really bad decision.”

Safety tips around the house

With all the snow that has fallen in the Jamestown area, Fire Chief Jim Reuther said homeowners need to make sure natural gas meters aren’t covered in snow. He said residents should make sure sewer vents are unplugged to keep methane gas from entering their homes.

“With all the heavy snow that came down with no wind, very little wind, I noticed today that there is a tremendous amount of snow on many houses and these sewer vents are getting clogged,” he said. “Take these off or just remove the snow.”

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Snow has accumulated on this trailer fender. A winter storm warning remains in effect for the Jamestown area until 6 am on Thursday, December 15.

John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

He also said homeowners should make sure any heating or gas-powered appliances are working properly to prevent carbon monoxide in homes. He said residents should make sure they have carbon monoxide detectors in their homes. The instructions that accompany new carbon monoxide alarms give individuals the best locations to install them.

If possible, Reuther said, residents should work with their neighbors to “adopt” a fire hydrant and keep it free of snow. He said with the Adopt a Hydrant program, residents and their neighbors should clear the snow about 3 to 4 feet around each hydrant.

“If we come and have to dig them out, it will just take a little more time before we can put out the fire when we would need them,” he said.

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