Low visibility causes difficult driving conditions

FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) — Drivers dealt with a tough morning commute as blowing and drifting snow reduced visibilities across the region.

Low visibility on the roads led to the removal of snow crews until mid-afternoon.

“So, it’s never an easy decision obviously when we are dealing with blizzard conditions to pull plows. We did send our drivers out at seven this morning and there was near zero visibility. So, us along with the sheriff’s department made the decision to pull our plows until visibility allowed us to go out, which will be sometime this afternoon,” Clay County Engineer Justin Sorum said.

Conditions were so bad that parts of Interstates 29 and 94 were closed Wednesday evening. It took until Thursday afternoon to open them back up.

“The roadways that we normally patrol, which is the interstate system and highways, there were really no calls for service last night. People did a great job by listening and following the direction that our agency, local law enforcement, and the department of transportation gave them last night and (Thursday) morning,” North Dakota Highway Patrol Capt. Bryan Niewind said.

Travelers encountered snow drifts on roads, which caused almost whiteout conditions at times.

19th Ave. N. was closed in Fargo, where six vehicles were involved in a pileup.

“You might drive for a mile, two miles, ten miles and it is clear and there is no drifting. Then, you might hit a quarter mile, half mile, two-mile section where there is going to be some drifting and reduced visibility,” Niewind said.

Clay County plows are back on the roads this evening and will be back out again at 6:00 Friday morning.