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Published November 15, 2011, 07:27 PM

First Accumulating Snow Causes Several Accidents Around the Region

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Snow snarled travel across the region Tuesday, causing numerous accidents.

By: WDAZ Staff Report, WDAZ

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Snow snarled travel across the region Tuesday, causing numerous accidents.

Two Harbors, MN

(AP) — At least two people are dead after a pickup truck and a sport utility vehicle collided near Gooseberry Falls in northeastern Minnesota.

The State Patrol says the pickup was northbound on Minnesota Highway 61 when it lost control on the Gooseberry River bridge and entered the southbound lane, where it was broadsided by the SUV.

The Duluth News Tribune (http://bit.ly/sTGcsg ) reports at least one of the vehicles caught fire.

The patrol says there was at least one other person in one of the vehicles. That person's condition was not available.

The crash happened around 6 a.m. Tuesday. Patrol Sgt. Mark Baker says roads were slippery from a mix of rain and snow and, in some locations, ice.

Grand Forks

Since 8 a.m. Tuesday, Grand Forks police reporter over 30 accidents, including one on the Demers Avenue overpass.

Traffic had to be re-routed for about 20 minutes causing a back-up for several blocks.

There were minor injuries in the accident, with one person transported to Altru Hospital.

There was also an accident on the Columbia overpass Tuesday afternoon with minor injuries.

Minot, ND

Snow and wind made for tough travel conditions in north central North Dakota early Tuesday.

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for the region, saying up to four inches of snow was possible.

In Minot, accidents on slick hills prompted police to close several roads.

Wind gusts up to 30 mph were reducing visibility to half a mile or less.

The state Transportation Department issued a travel alert for Minot and the rest of the region saying motorists could still travel but might experience hazardous conditions.

Devils Lake

Devils Lake drivers battled their first snow on Tuesday as well, with about three inches accumulating throughout the day.

Many people were out shoveling sidewalks and brushing snow off of their cars.

But, some people were able to sneak away for the winter.

The Devils Lake Police Department has reported several accidents within city limits because of the snow-covered streets.

Forecast

The National Weather Service in Grand Forks says a low pressure system has moved across the region, with the best chance for accumulating snow along a line from Devils Lake to Fargo to Park Rapids, where around an inch is possible.

More snow possible Thursday and Friday

Light snow is possible along and north of Highway 2 on Thursday night and Friday. Another low pressure system will move across the Dakotas and into Minnesota. There is also potential for a significant snowfall on Saturday as yet another storm system moves in.

The timing and track of the Saturday storm is uncertain now, though.

Travel alert extended to Devils Lake, Grand Forks

The North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) has expanded the Travel Alert to the north central and north east regions of North Dakota including Devils Lake, Grand Forks and surrounding areas due to blowing snow causing reduced visibility and areas of compacted snow and ice creating slippery road conditions.

Conditions are such that motorists can still travel but may experience challenging winter driving conditions. Travel Alerts have the potential to change to a No Travel Advisory if conditions deteriorate.

The Travel Alert is still in effect for the Minot and Garrison areas and north central section of North Dakota. Motorists are encouraged to Slow down and drive according to the conditions.

To stay informed about road conditions and updates on Travel Alerts, No Travel Advisories and Road Closures please go to the Travel Information Map at www.dot.nd.gov or call 511. NDDOT releases information to inform the public about travel conditions throughout the state.

The three categories are as follows:

1. Travel Alerts are issued to alert motorists that areas of challenging winter driving conditions may be encountered on roadways. Conditions are such that motorists can still travel; however, they should be aware that rapidly changing conditions may result in travel delays due to reduced speeds and visibility. Travel Alerts have the potential to change to No Travel Advisory if conditions deteriorate.

2. No Travel Advisories are issued when conditions warrant no travel but not a road closure. No Travel Advisories have the potential to change to a Road Closure if conditions deteriorate. No Travel Advisories are issued for public safety to encourage motorists not to venture out onto the roads. Motorists are urged to take No Travel Advisories seriously. Conditions change often during a storm event and motorists may become stranded if they are caught between destinations.

3. Roads are closed when conditions create a life-threatening danger to motorists. The roadway is impassable and it is against the law to drive past a road closure device on a closed road. Motorists should obey road closures, even when a sign or a gate isnot present.

Be advised that road condition information on 511 and the travel map is updated daily from 5 a.m. until 9 p.m. CST. The road report is based upon the information available to the NDDOT at the time of preparation and is provided solely as a public service. Conditions may vary from those reported.

If you become stranded, motorists should stay with their vehicle and call 911 for emergency assistance.

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