High Winds Push Water and Debris Over Lake Region RoadA portion of Highway 57 from the junction of 57 and 20 was closed because of debris and water on the roads. The road is now open after being closed since Tuesday.
Wind gusts of up to 50 miles an hour created waves 5 to 7 feet high near Highway 57 south of Devils Lake. The road was closed at 4pm on Tuesday, and is now open. Flaggers are present as some road crews are still out working. Drivers are asked to use caution and watch for any debris on the road.
Ramsey County Emergency Manager Tim Heisler says he hasn't seen waves at such heights on Devils Lake for a few years. Waves pushed up onto the road, bringing rocks, tree stumps and moving water, making it impossible for cars to get through.
The North Dakota Department of Transportation had 5 plows out and they still couldn't keep up. And with the winds continuing and temperatures dropping, the department has other worries.
"It brings the mist and the water up on the roadway where it freezes and we want to definitely think about that too as a reason we're keeping it closed," DOT District Engineer Wayde Swenson said.
Ramsey County Highway Department Superintendent Kevin Fieldsend says the gravel roads in the county did not need this much moisture.
"Use them as little as possible. It's going to be a mess for a while so unless its absolutely necessary, try and take the asphalt roads," Fieldsend said.
The Spirit Lake Casino will be running their plows to clear debris from the casino road to Ski Jump road to keep access open.
BIA Roads 4, 5 & 2 and several other BIA roads have become very difficult
to travel. In the event of an emergency, Ames construction will have an operator on standby in their office. Residents in these areas and emergency response personnel can call 701-766-4466 and Ames will immediately blade the road to the residence so vehicles can get through.