Crews busy clearing roads after Midwest blizzard


Wednesday, March 11th 2009, 12:19 pm
By: News 9


FARGO, N.D. (AP) -- Road crews battling 4-foot-deep snowdrifts and bitter cold reopened hundreds of miles of highways Wednesday that were shut down by a blizzard in the Dakotas and Minnesota.
   The storm was linked to at least four deaths and shut down numerous schools and businesses Tuesday.
   Interstate 29 was reopened Wednesday from the Canadian border across North Dakota to Watertown, S.D., a distance of about 280 miles, highway officials said. Interstate 94 remained closed from Jamestown to Fargo but was open from Fargo east into Minnesota.
   Along with deep snowdrifts and snow that had turned to layers of ice, road crews had to deal with sharp cold. Fargo reported 5 below zero at 7 a.m., with a wind chill factor of 26 below.
   Snow accumulations included 13.5 inches at Red Lake Falls, Minn., the National Weather Service said.
   Fargo's MeritCare, North Dakota's largest hospital, closed its clinics Tuesday and notified patients that elective surgery Wednesday would have to be rescheduled.
   Slippery roads were blamed for two deaths in North Dakota and one each in Minnesota and South Dakota.