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Elias Hendrickson and Zack Sauer, in the background, shovel the outside rink at City Park in anticipation of friends joining them Monday afternoon. But strong wind gusts changed their plans, forcing them to move inside to skate at Nielson-Reise Arena. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer

Storm dances around Bemidji with white-out conditions

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BEMIDJI – It appears winter won’t go away quietly this year.

Instead, another storm whipped through the region Monday, causing white-out conditions in open country and the closure of numerous roads in northwest and west central Minnesota.

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The President’s Day storm caused significantly more problems for those north and west of Bemidji, where snow and wind provided a reminder of February’s ferocity.

Elsewhere, fatal accidents near Granite Falls and Barnesville provided a reminder of winter’s often dangerous driving conditions. The state’s Transportation Department

The Bemidji office of the Minnesota Department of Transportation sent a media notice cautioning travelers to check road conditions Monday because of “difficult and hazardous driving conditions.”

Among the roads closed was U.S. Highway 2 from Crookston to East Grand Forks. MnDOT also asked motorists to keep a safe distance from snowplows, allow extra time for stopping, use appropriate speeds for winter driving and obtain updated road condition information by calling 511 or clicking on www.511mn.org.

The wide variance in conditions showed in observations during the lunch hour.

Bemidji’s temperature was 13 degrees, down from 28 early in the morning. The 23-mph winds resulted in a 7-below wind chill reading.

In comparison, the National Weather Service’s readings showed Crookston at 3 and minus-23 wind chill, Grand Forks at minus-2 and minus-24 wind chill and Thief River Falls at minus-4 and 17-below with wind chill.

The weather service forecasts today as the week’s coldest high temperature. The high in Bemidji is forecast to be zero today, 8 on Wednesday, 19 on Thursday and 22 by Friday.

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Steve Wagner
Grand Forks Herald Editor Steve Wagner can be reached at 701.780.1104 and swagner@gfherald.com. Prior to joining the Herald, Wagner worked at the Bemidji (Minn.) Pioneer and The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. He also previously worked at newspapers in the Twin Cities and Iowa.
(701) 780-1104
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