The Latest: Snowplows pulled in eastern North Dakota
FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The Latest on the winter storm creating blizzard conditions in parts of the Upper Midwest (all times local):
State transportation officials say snowplows are being pulled from highways in eastern North Dakota as a blizzard sweeps through the area.
The North Dakota Department of Transportation says plow operators had been working all day, but the plows were pulled Thursday evening. The plows are expected to resume operations early Friday morning.
The National Weather Service reports a foot of snow has fallen in Fargo. In western Minnesota, Ada has received 11 inches (27.9 centimeters) while Mahnomen reports 8 inches (20 centimeters).
In north-central South Dakota, Eureka reports just over 10 inches (25 centimeters).
The North Dakota Department of Transportation has closed sections of interstates and highways because of blizzard conditions that are making parts impassable. Interstate 29 northbound and southbound from Fargo to Grand Forks are closed.
Interstate 94 eastbound lanes from Jamestown to Fargo and I-94 westbound lanes from Fargo to Valley City are shut down as well. Highway 13 from I-29 to Wahpeton is closed in both directions.
Motorists who disobey a road closure may be fined up to $250.
The Highway Patrol has advised against travel in all of eastern North Dakota due to heavy snow and blowing snow which is creating near zero visibility and hazardous driving conditions.
A wintry mix of snow, sleet and gusty winds is closing schools, causing power outages and making travel treacherous in parts of the Upper Midwest.
In North Dakota, Grand Fork and Cass county courthouses and offices closed Thursday as well as North Dakota State University and dozens of other schools. The North Dakota Highway Patrol advised against travel in eastern parts of the state because of blowing snow and near zero visibility.
The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for the eastern edges of the Dakotas and western Minnesota. That region was bracing for up to a foot of snow and wind chills as low as minus 40 (negative 40 Celsius).
In Wisconsin, freezing rain and snow snarled the morning commute, closed schools and left 5,300 We Energies customers without power.