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Trying to get this semi out of the ditch near the RDO plant necessitated a lengthy procedure that closed the highway. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)
Trying to get this semi out of the ditch near the RDO plant necessitated a lengthy procedure that closed the highway. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)

Increasing winds will make travel more difficult

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news Park Rapids, 56470

Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

As flakes continue to fall in the Fargo-Moorhead region, forecasters are warning Wednesday that increasing wind speeds could make driving tricky starting this afternoon.

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“The big concern is going to be the blowing and drifting snow,” WDAY meteorologist Aaron White said. “It’s definitely going to create some drifts onto the roads.”

White predicts winds between 15 and 25 mph, accompanied by gusts up to 30 mph.

Hubbard County authorities have been dispatched to dozens of crashes all over the county, including to a semi jacknifed across Highway 71 near the RDO plant south of Park Rapids. A squad car was even reported to be in the ditch. Even though fleets of sand and salt trucks could be seen everywhere, snow covered the drivers' work in seconds.Several crashes were reported Wednesday. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)

Already this morning, police are dealing with fender benders and cars in ditches. In Moorhead, Sgt. Clint Stephenson said his department has handled about six crashes between 7 and 10 a.m. No motorists were hurt, he said.

In Fargo, between 8 a.m. Tuesday and 10 a.m. today, police were dispatched to 41 crashes, three of which involved injuries, Lt. Joel Vettel said.

Because of the ice, snow, wind and reduced visibility, the North Dakota Department of Transportation has issued a travel alert, urging drivers to use caution in the central and eastern parts of the state.

Moderate snowfall is expected to last into the early afternoon, followed by light snow, White said. Total accumulation of 3 to 5 inches is possible for the day, according to the National Weather Service.

By early this evening, the temperature will drop to about 13. The high for Thursday is 4 degrees, with mostly cloudy skies and wind chill values as low as minus 22, the weather service says.

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