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Published January 01, 2011, 11:59 AM

NDDOT: Portions of Interstates Will Remain Closed Until Sunday

The North Dakota Department of Transportation says most of I-29 and I-94 will likely remain closed until late Sunday morning or early Sunday afternoon. The DOT says closed interstate stretches between Grand Forks and Fargo and Fargo and Jamestown will remain closed. I-29 from Grand Forks to the Canadian Border is now open.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation says most of I-29 and I-94 will likely remain closed until late Sunday morning or early Sunday afternoon. Troy Gilbertson with the NDDOT says vehicles and semis are still being towed from the closed roadways and it is highly unlikely closed interstate stretches between Grand Forks and Fargo, and Fargo and Jamestown will reopen at all. I-29 from Grand Forks to the Canadian Border is now open.

Gilbertson says crews spent much of Friday evening rescuing stranded motorists who had gone around barriers and tried to travel on the closed interstate. He says on I-29 between Grand Forks and Fargo, 18 motorists were rescued and some were taken to Altru Hospital with frostbite and other cold-weather injuries. He says crews are still towing stranded vehicles from the roadway and that there "are not enough wreckers" to tow all of the stranded vehicles. He urges motorists to stay off of closed roadways so that crews can work on clearing the roads instead of spending time tending to stranded cars and motorists.

North Dakota Highway Patrol Sgt. Dave Wolf says visibility is still low in open country and that road crews are dealing with 6 to 8 foot drifts on the interstates. He says there is a layer of glare ice under the snow from freezing rain that fell before the storm and that even snow plows are getting stuck trying to clear the roads. Wolf says the DOT and Highway Patrol predict the closed portions of the interstates will reopen late Sunday morning or early Sunday afternoon at the earliest.

Highway 2 has reopened from Grand Forks to Devils Lake. The No Travel Advisory has been LIFTED for Grand Forks, Drayton, Cavalier and surrounding areas.

A No Travel Advisory remains in effect for eastern North Dakota due to blowing and drifting snow. Cities included in the No Travel Advisory include: Casselton, Fargo, Wahpeton, Hillsboro, and surrounding areas.

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