WDAY: The News Leader

Published February 03, 2011, 09:01 AM

Snow, winds make it nearly impossible to keep area roads clear

Lisbon, ND (WDAY TV) - North Dakota is also having issues with roads. No matter how many times they're cleaned, winds keep bringing back dangerous snow drifts. So why are roads so bad this year?

Lidgerwood: 2 hours late start. Lisbon: 1 hour late start. When roads aren't cleared, schools can't start on time.

Daryl Ritchison: “It's one of those winters again where wind speeds that normally don't cause problems, are causing problems because of that canyon effect. Plus even when there aren’t any canyons, simply put, the ditches are full.”

When asked about delays, D-O-T officials say it comes down to the almighty dollar.

Bruce Nord: “It all goes back to down to money. The schools need to get in the number of school days; the counties and the townships have to get the road cleared. What we've spent for road removal this year, the county and the townships are pinching for funds.”

Highway 27 just west of Lisbon was closed earlier today due to high drifts. Those snow drifts have since been plowed, but as you can see below me, more drifts are already forming.

Nord: “Then you throw Mother Nature in there with the winds. They blow the snow out, get everything cleaned off. Two days later the wind blows again, fills everything back up.”

County and township roads are the worst, with many roads almost completely impassable.

Nord: “It's a problem that isn’t going away until it starts to melt, and then we're looking at another problem, because all the snow is going to turn to water.”

Nord says he hasn't seen a winter like this in a long time and people need to always be checking ahead for road conditions before traveling.