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Charly Haley , Published January 12 2013

Storm brings plenty of ice, scant snow to Fargo area

FARGO – Although roads were still icy Saturday after an overnight dusting of snow, Fargo evaded a major storm this weekend.

As of 6 a.m. Saturday, the snow totaled 1.5 inches in Fargo and 2.4 inches in Grand Forks, said Jeff Makowski, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Grand Forks. The majority of snowfall was finished by that time, he said.

The heaviest snow was from northeastern North Dakota near Devils Lake, to northwestern Minnesota, where accumulation ranged from 6 to 8 inches, Makowski said, including 6 inches in Michigan, N.D., and 7 inches in Pembina, N.D.

The storm prompted the North Dakota Department of Transportation to issue travel alerts across the state, but all were lifted by 9 a.m. Saturday, except in the northeast part of the state including Grand Forks, Drayton and Cavalier.

According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, most of the major roads in Clay and Wilkin counties were in fair condition by Saturday morning, though conditions remained difficult elsewhere in the region – including much of Otter Tail, Becker and Norman counties.

Forecasts on Thursday and Friday had predicted up to 5 inches of snow in the F-M area, which could have been the most significant snowfall of the season.

With travel in town not a problem on Saturday, Russ Hewitt, 67, of Fargo, made his way to West Acres mall for walking and reading.

“That was a pretty wimpy storm,” he said. “I didn’t really consider it a storm.”

Hewitt did empathize with people who live outside of Fargo, saying that he used to live 40 miles out of the city and understands it’s difficult to commute on the icy roads.

“It’s two different worlds, between the rural and Fargo,” he said.

Fargo resident Katie Tschappat, 22, had to brave the icy roads to make it to her job in the mall Saturday morning.

“I didn’t think it was too bad,” she said. “I grew up in South Dakota, so I’m used to it.”

Tschappat said she was relieved the ice wasn’t worse, but she likes snow and wants more of it.

Seth Cote, of Fargo, spent Saturday cleaning up after the storm. The 40-year-old works for Yardman lawn and ground maintenance, snowblowing and shoveling in Fargo, he said.

“It’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be, but it’s awfully slippery,” Cote said.

He was relieved the storm wasn’t worse, but wished it were warmer.

Although the snowfall had finished, Saturday stayed windy with a high temperature of 5 degrees, and a low of 10 below.

Makowski said the region’s cold temperatures should last until Monday.

The highs for Tuesday and Wednesday should jump back into the mid-teens and 20s, before the end of the week cools down again, he said.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Charly Haley at (701) 235-7311