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Blizzard conditions keep trucking across Upper Midwest

Whiteouts Monday caused major wreck, interstate closures

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

A stretch of Interstate 94 near Fargo, North Dakota, was shut down Monday due to a pileup during a snowstorm.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) closed the highway’s westbound lanes from West Fargo to Casselton about 11 a.m. CT due to a “traffic incident.” While the department didn’t say much, the state’s highway patrol provided some more information.

Emergency crews were on the scene due to a multi-vehicle wreck near Casselton, about 10 miles west of Fargo, the highway patrol tweeted. Multiple people suffered injuries in the crash, which involved 18-wheelers and cars. NDDOT later extended the closure another 80 miles to Jamestown and closed Interstate 29 from Fargo to the North Dakota-South Dakota border due to whiteout conditions.

The highway patrol shared a photo of the terrible driving conditions Monday morning, showing near-zero visibility due to heavy snow and high winds. A few hours prior to the wreck, NDDOT advised people not to travel in that area because of the hazardous weather. Wind gusts Monday peaked at 46 mph in Fargo, according to the National Weather Service.

As of early Tuesday morning, these highway sections had been reopened, according to NDDOT.

Southeastern North Dakota (south of I-94), northeastern South Dakota and far western Minnesota remain under a blizzard warning issued by the NWS. The warning expires at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Additional periods of strong winds, blowing snow and low visibility are likely across the Upper Midwest and portions of the Great Lakes. NDDOT may end up closing roads again.

Major lanes of concern

• Interstate 29 from Kansas City, Missouri, to the U.S.-Canada border.
• Interstate 94 from Bismarck, North Dakota, to Milwaukee.

Another storm could produce significant ice accumulation Wednesday and Thursday in a narrow band from northern Texas to portions of the mid-Atlantic. Meanwhile, snow would fall in parts of the Midwest and interior Northeast.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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Nick Austin

Nick is a meteorologist with 20 years of forecasting and broadcasting experience. He was nominated for a Midsouth Emmy for his coverage during a 2008 western Tennessee tornado outbreak. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from the Georgia Tech. Nick is a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in February 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” eight consecutive years.