North Dakotans & Minnesotans prepare for first major winter storm of season
FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) — With blizzard-like conditions on the horizon across much of North Dakota and Minnesota, the North Dakota Department of Transportation advises people to stay off the roads.
“It’s been a while since we’ve seen these kind of conditions and even though all of us are used to living up here in North Dakota, sometimes we forget. Sometimes that first snowfall is a little tricky. My advice is to drive to the conditions and don’t travel unless it’s absolutely necessary,” Sarah Arntson with the North Dakota Department of Transportation said.
The DOT says it has equipment ready to go and already have crews out patrolling the streets in advance to see how the forecast changes.
Experts suggest bringing your phone charger with you and warm clothing in your car in case it breaks down.
“When it comes to a winter weather safety kit, blizzard box, whatever you wanna call it, really comes down to being prepared plenty ahead. Hope is not a strategy. Hope is not a plan. You need to take the time to just put some extra gear in your car. First and foremost, it’s gonna start with warm clothing. A lot of people underdress for the weather because they assume they have that cell phone if they need help. They break down, get stuck they call for help and a tow truck will be there within minutes. As a lot of us know in the area, it’s not always the case. So, it’s being prepared, having that extra warm clothing, extra warm gear,” Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow said.
Arntson says to speak with a friend or family member before driving in blizzard-like conditions and to always keep an eye out for snowplows as they need ample room to maneuver.
“It’s smart to let somebody know when you leave, what your route is and when you expect to arrive so people will be looking out for you and realize if you don’t get there on time. You should always be driving on the top half of your gas tank and if you see plows out there, please give them space because they have some blind spots. Big heavy trucks can’t stop on a dime, they’re driving on the snow and ice just like we are,” Arntson said.
Arntson adds you can keep track of travel advisories across North Dakota and Minnesota through Twitter and Facebook.