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Forum staff reports, Published March 06 2014

VIDEO: Ice, winds make for rough morning commute on interstates

MOORHEAD – Brisk winds on icy roads east of here and west of Fargo are still sending drivers into the ditch this morning, said state troopers.

That’s after 29 crashes yesterday throughout the West Central region, starting when conditions started to worsen on roadways at around two in the afternoon, said Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow.

Thursday morning, Grabow had responded to a handful of crashes, including two jackknifed semis along Interstate 94, both of which have been cleared from the roadways.

The I-94 corridor from Moorhead to Rothsay and the U.S. Highway 10 corridor to the Lake Park-Audubon area are the two most treacherous areas for drivers in terms of ice, Grabow said.

“Start out a little bit sooner, take your time, buckle up,” said Grabow.

Conditions were improving as ice plows had got out to break up the major chunks, he said, but “There’s still enough sheets out here it’ll get you.”

Dispatchers with the North Dakota State Patrol’s southeast region, which serves Fargo and surrounding areas, said conditions west of Fargo on the interstates were similar.

No troopers were immediately available to give a report, said a dispatcher, since they were out dealing with cars in the ditch.

Travel was also difficult south of the metro area. Wilkin County Sheriff Rick Fiedler said in a news release that his department is advising now travel due to poor visibility and driving conditions.