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Associated Press , Published March 05 2013

No travel advisories lifted as record-setting storm leaves Dakotas

GRAND FORKS — A late-winter storm moved out of the Dakotas on Tuesday, leaving in its wake record snow and rain in some areas.

Remaining winter weather warnings and advisories in North Dakota expired in the morning.

No travel advisories in North Dakota and South Dakota also were lifted early Tuesday, though driving remained treacherous in many areas and motorists were urged to remain cautious. Near-zero visibility was reported in the Sioux Falls area in southeastern South Dakota before the storm began moving east.

Some schools in the Dakotas opened late as buses dealt with slick or snow-blocked roads, and some airline flights in the two states to Chicago and Minnesota's Twin Cities were canceled as the storm continued its track east.

The storm moved out of Montana late Sunday and intensified across the Dakotas on Monday, bringing freezing rain to parts of both states and heavy snow to areas of North Dakota. As much as a foot was reported in several northern cities, including Minot and Devils Lake.

Grand Forks on Monday received a record amount of snow for the date, with 7 inches, breaking the city's previous record of 5 inches set in 1966, according to the National Weather Service. Minot not only got a foot of snow but also tied a rainfall record for the date, at just under one-tenth of an inch, matching a 1999 mark.

Williston got half an inch of rain Monday, breaking that city's 1931 record for the date by one-tenth of an inch, before the precipitation turned to snow. The city then got half a foot of snow.

The amount of snow in some areas took even some hardy North Dakotans by surprise, especially after a warm Saturday that melted snow already on the ground.

“I've been here my whole life,” Troy Erickson told the Minot Daily News. “I should be used to it by now, right?”

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