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WDAY: The News Leader

Published December 23, 2009, 07:54 AM

Drivers try to beat the Christmas storm, but not without multiple crashes

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - With this storm hitting during peak travel time, many of you have hit the roads or are about to or at least attempt to, but it's already been a busy night for authorities.

By: Travis Skonseng, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - With this storm hitting during peak travel time, many of you have hit the roads or are about to or at least attempt to, but it's already been a busy night for authorities. As you can see, drivers are heeding the warnings and trying to beat this Christmas storm. Travel is still moving along pretty well at this time of night on I-94 and I-29, but tonight is not without multiple crashes.

This crash happened on interstate and 52nd Avenue south in Fargo during rush hour. The Fairmount man's car slid through the median and hit the cement pillar supporting the bridge.

Andrew Booke's one-year old daughter lost consciousness and was taken to a local hospital. Her condition isn't known. Booke was going 75 miles per hour and had his cruise set at the time. He calls it the scariest thing he has ever been through.

“Just be careful. Especially with kids in the car, you don't think about it until something like this happens, then it's sometimes it's too late.”

The highway patrol has put all of its troopers on standby for when and if this storm gets worse. Authorities are once again telling drivers those warnings we have heard so many times before. Don't use cruise, buckle up, and slow down.

“We said it over and over again, is just slow down. Drive for the conditions. If you need to drive 50 miles an hour to get to your where you're going, that's what you need to do.”

Part of the reason many drivers are not following the advice just yet is the weather. The snowfall isn't too bad, but in reality, the warm temperature of the pavement and light snow are causing the roads to be slick and icy, both in and out of towns.

If you do have to travel this holiday, make sure to be aware of the road conditions. You can get the latest in both North Dakota and Minnesota by dialing 5-1-1.

Some flights at Hector International are delayed or running behind tonight because of the storm system. Travel agents in the area are staying busy this holiday, fielding calls from customers.

Calls have been coming into Travel Leaders in Moorhead the last couple days. More as it gets closer to Christmas. Most of the calls are from fliers wondering what happens if their flight is canceled because of the weather.

Many airlines have relaxed their rules to help passengers. Some are even offering other flights free of charge.

“If a flight is canceled right now, the next best thing to happen is if there's an open flight before or after you were scheduled to leave, the airlines are willing to put you on it as long as it works within your schedules and what they have.”

Agents recommend fliers keep watching the weather and call ahead to the airline to see if any flights are delayed or canceled.

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