Snow closes businesses, highway in upper Midwest

Tuesday, March 10th 2009, 11:39 am
By: News 9

FARGO, N.D. (AP) -- Heavy snow driven by wind gusting to 40 mph brought the city to a halt Tuesday, closing courts and businesses, and shut down a major highway across the Upper Midwest.
   Up to a foot of snow was forecast Tuesday for parts of eastern North Dakota.
   The National Weather Service posted blizzard warnings and winter storm warnings for wide areas of North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota.
   Minnesota and North Dakota authorities shut down a 130-mile stretch of Interstate 94 from Jamestown, N.D., to Fergus Falls, Minn.
   Fargo residents were advised to just stay home.
   "Travel will become nearly impossible for employees trying to return home in afternoon hours," a Fargo city government statement said.
   "Today would be a great day for people to enjoy maybe a movie at home," West Fargo Police Chief Arland Rasmussen said.
   Courts, clinics and schools closed. Rasmussen said most businesses in the area did not open Tuesday or were closing before noon. He said the decision by North Dakota State University to shut down had a domino effect throughout the city.
   "That really made a difference. NDSU usually doesn't close," Rasmussen said.
   Some schools also closed in northeastern South Dakota.
   The weather service said wind was blowing at 30 mph at Fargo, with gusts to 40 mph.
   Fargo snowplow crews could not keep up with drifting snow, public works maintenance supervisor Lee Anderson said Tuesday.
   "It's not pretty," Anderson said.
   On Monday, an ambulance rolled over on an icy stretch of I-94 west of Bismarck, killing the patient it was carrying.