Closures due to blizzard remain in effect in North Dakota
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Record snowfall from a spring blizzard is shutting down government offices, schools and some businesses for a third day in North Dakota.
The Capitol and other state offices in Bismarck and beyond remained closed Thursday, public and private schools canceled classes or switched to virtual instruction, flights at the Bismarck Airport were canceled and some highways are still closed.
The National Weather Service’s blizzard warning for much of the state and smaller sections of South Dakota and Montana remained in effect Thursday.
More than a foot of snow has fallen in Bismarck with about 2 feet in Dickinson and Glenburn.
“For the month of April it’s not uncommon to get the snow. Now, snow of this magnitude -- this is something that’s a little bit more unique,” said Rick Krolak, at the weather service’s Bismarck office.
The state has activated its Emergency Operations Center and is coordinating with local emergency managers across North Dakota to ensure that resources are available if needed, according to the governor’s office.
While the blizzard has disrupted day-to-day life in North Dakota, the precipitation will ease the drought that has lingered in the state, the Bismarck Tribune reported.
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows nearly all of the western half of the state as being abnormally dry or in some form of drought. Northwestern North Dakota is in extreme drought, the second-worst category.