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Update: Travel advisory for Jamestown and region as snow continues

Emergency crews were busy Wednesday as snow-covered roads and poor visibility made for unpleasant traveling conditions in and around the Jamestown area. John M. Steiner / The Sun

The North Dakota Department of Transportation and the North Dakota Highway Patrol issued a no travel advisory for portions of eastern North Dakota.

Snow and ice covered roads and reduced visibility are creating hazardous driving conditions, the patrol said. Cities included in the no travel advisory are Jamestown, Valley City, Edgeley, Ellendale, Oakes, Cooperstown, Michigan, Larimore and surrounding areas.

A No Travel Advisory means conditions are such that motorists should not travel in these areas.

There were cars going in the ditch along Third Street Southeast in the morning in Jamestown but other than that the city has had an uneventful day as far as snow-related accidents or problems, said Lt. Robert Opp, day shift supervisor for the Jamestown Police Department.

“We usually have more accidents on the first snow and that hasn’t been the case today,” Opp said.

Stutsman County Sheriff Chad Kaiser said there were several cars that went into the ditch throughout the day on county roads. The accidents have not resulted in damage or injury, he said.

“So far it has just been people driving probably too fast for the slushy conditions which is typical for a first snow,” Kaiser said. “That is what we usually see until people get used to driving in winter conditions again.”

Due to continued snowy conditions Dickey County employees and the Dickey County Courthouse in Ellendale are were released at 3:30 p.m., according to Charlie Russell, Dickey County emergency manager and 911 coordinator.

NDDOT is not keeping up with plowing on N.D. Highway 11, he said. The National Weather service is predicting from 6 to 9 inches of snowfall for Dickey and LaMoure counties by evening with winds of up to 35 mph creating whiteout conditions, he said.

Road surfaces in the Ellendale area are rutted in heavy slush and snow, Russell said. The National Weather Service anticipates the snow will continue to fall until tapering off in the evening and stop by 1 a.m., he said.

If residents must travel full-sized vehicles are recommended at speeds of less than 20 mph, he said. Visibility is under half a mile, he said.

A power outage Wednesday in downtown Jamestown lasted about an hour, according to Rebecca Michael, public relations specialist for Otter Tail Power Co.

The power went out in parts of downtown Jamestown at around 11:15 a.m. and was down for approximately one hour, she said. It is not known how many customers were affected, she said.

The source of the outage is not known but is attributed to the heavy wet snow, Michael said. There were similar outages in other areas where snow was falling, she said.

“There are no major outages that affected large groups all at once,” Michael said. “They are mostly small and localized.”

Jamestown is in the radius of the storm-related outages, she said. Technicians are working as fast as they can and still be safe to repair the localized outages, she said.

Heavy wet branches can fall on power lines, she said. If people have an outage they should call 800-257-4044 or 218-739-8877 so that Otter Tail Power Co. technicians can respond, she said.

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