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Valley City area gets foot of snow in first storm

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VALLEY CITY, N.D. - Valley City was one of the hardest hit areas during the region's first snow storm. 

Between 6 and 9 inches of snow has fallen.

The combination of wind, ice and snow made it hard to drive and forced schools in the area to school.

In a matter of just hours, Interstate 94 went from a long, dry gray ribbon of concrete, to a frozen, slippery, slushy mess and dangerous.

Semis and cars began sliding into the ditch. More than a dozen near Valley City.

Tow truck operator Jason Rungee spent most of the day hooking and towing cars.

"People are driving too fast for road conditions, and when they get the build-up of the snow and ice, it sucks them in and they are stuck," Main Street Detailing tow truck operator Jason Rungee said.

In Valley City, many drivers pulled off. Kristen Gillis of western North Dakota was trying to get into Minnesota. None of the people in her car dressed for our first storm.

"This is horrible, I don't have socks on. It is not winter yet," Driver Kristen Gilliss said.

But they get the last laugh. This is their first and final storm this year.

"We are moving to Arizona on Saturday, so that makes this even more exciting. Enough is enough, we are done," Gilliss said.

A day of re-learning how to maneuver our icy, snowy roads, troopers saw multiple crashes with a common denominator.

"Really need to increase driving distances and slow down," North Dakota State Trooper Tim Peterson said.

Kevin Wallevand

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia and the Middle East. He is an Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

(701) 241-5317
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