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Charly Haley, Published January 19 2013

Northern ND under blizzard warning

FARGO – Travelers should be wary of icy roads and blizzard conditions today.

The area from Grand Forks to Devils Lake is in a blizzard warning for ground blizzard conditions, which means that there won’t be any snowfall – but the amount of snow on the ground and the high-speed winds create the blizzard, said Mark Ewens, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Grand Forks.

“It’s been a few years since we’ve been in this type of situation,” he said.

About 1 p.m., the North Dakota Department of Transportation issued a “no travel advisory” for the northeastern part of the state, including the cities of Cavalier, Grafton, Drayton and surrounding areas because of high winds with blowing and drifting snow, and near zero visibility. The advisory states that people should not travel at all in those regions.

Ewens said conditions are fine in town, but it’s when travelers get into the open country that the near 50 mile-per-hour winds are causing as little as a quarter mile visibility. There’s also still quite a bit of snow near Devils Lake and Pembina from last weekend’s storm, he said.

The winds should diminish this evening and the blizzard warning will be lifted, Ewens said.

The wind isn’t quite as strong near Fargo, at about 35 mph, Ewens said.

However, travelers still need to be careful. According to North Dakota Highway Patrol, three cars went into the ditch within a 2 mile stretch near Casselton this morning.

The three crashes were on I-94 between mile markers 328 and 326. The cars were damaged, but there were no injuries. None of the accidents are blocking the road, but the roads are icy and drivers should slow down, the patrol officer said.

The Fargo area will become colder as the day goes on. Sunday’s low is forecast between 15 and 20 below, and the high forecast for is 5 below.