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Published February 29, 2012, 11:12 AM

I-29 reopens from Fargo to Watertown, S.D.

FARGO - Interstate 29 has reopened from Fargo to the Watertown, S.D., and North Dakota Highway 13 also has reopened from Wahpeton to I-29, the state Department of Transportation announced at about 11 a.m.

By: Forum staff reports, INFORUM

FARGO - Interstate 29 has reopened from Fargo to the Watertown, S.D., and North Dakota Highway 13 also has reopened from Wahpeton to I-29, the state Department of Transportation announced at about 11 a.m.

The DOT said motorists should be advised that a travel alert remains in effect for southeastern North Dakota, including the areas of Jamestown, Valley City, Fargo and Wahpeton.

The snow had stopped falling in Fargo by 11 a.m., and snowfall totals won’t be as high as expected from the winter storm, the National Weather Service said.

Forecasters had earlier predicted a foot or more of snowfall south of Fargo. Now, totals are expected to range from 5 to 8 inches across the southern Red River Valley and adjacent areas, tapering off rapidly to the north, with 1 to 5 inches expected from roughly Gardner to Grand Forks and less than an inch across the northern valley, according to the weather service office in Grand Forks.

“Gusty northeast winds will also cause areas of blowing snow in open areas,” the weather service said in a statement on its website. “Travel will be hazardous today across the south with conditions slowly improving this afternoon.”

Snowplows encountered 6 to 7 inches of snow on I-29 overnight in the Hankinson area, said Bruce Nord, maintenance superintendent with the North Dakota Department of Transportation.

“It took the guys seven hours to get down to the border and get back to Fargo last night. It was not good,” he said.

Ken Gillespie, meteorological technician at the weather service office in Aberdeen, S.D., said up to a foot of snow was expected in the northeast corner of the state before the storm passes.

No serious injury accidents were reported in southeastern North Dakota or west-central Minnesota, although Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow said at 6:45 a.m. that he was responding to a jackknifed semi blocking eastbound I-94 traffic near the Ashby exit.

Grabow said travel conditions on I-94 near Fergus Falls were “very difficult” and getting worse as he headed southeast.

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