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Published March 12 2011

State agencies continue storm emergency assistance

BISMARCK, N.D. – Governor Jack Dalrymple today directed the North Dakota Highway Patrol to utilize aircraft in searching for any motorists who may remain stranded due to the severe winter storm that has impacted much of North Dakota.

“Our emergency services worked throughout the night to rescue stranded motorists and we will continue to assist those in need of help,” Dalrymple said.

The North Dakota Department of Emergency Services (NDDES), North Dakota National Guard (NDNG), North Dakota Highway Patrol (NDHP), the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) and other medical and emergency services worked through the night to provide rescue and recovery efforts for stranded motorists.

Interstate 94 and Highway 83 remain closed. The NDDOT has reopened I-29 from Fargo to Grand Forks and expects to open I-29 from Grand Forks to the Canadian border yet this morning. The NDDOT is coordinating with South Dakota officials to reopen I-29 from Fargo south. An estimated 800 vehicles have been abandoned on roadways within 75 miles of Bismarck. More than 800 people were in shelters this morning along I-94 and state Highway 83.

The Highway Patrol and NDDOT will be working throughout the day to assist in the removal of abandoned cars, to respond to accidents and to clear snow. The public is encouraged to check the NDDOT website at www.dot.nd.gov or call 511 for updated road information.

The NDHP is coordinating an information center for people who abandoned their vehicles during the winter storm. For vehicle information, go to the NDHP site at www.nd.gov/ndhp. Local wreckers have been taking these vehicles to pre-determined drop-off points. Vehicle owners who do not have access to the Internet, and need to recover their vehicles can call 701-328-9921.