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Aaron Slogar, 10, helps shovel the driveway outside his home Friday afternoon in Bemidji. Pioneer Photo/Bethany Wesley

Storm No. 1 arrives, area prepares for possibility of No. 2

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news Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
(218) 333-9819 customer support
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

As Bemidji area residents spent some time Friday morning shoveling the remnants of Thursday's snowfall, they also were bracing for the possibility of a second, more powerful snowstorm.

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The first wave arrived in Bemidji Thursday, leaving about 5 inches of snow in the city limits.

A second snowstorm was expected to reach the area Friday evening.

The National Weather Service said blizzard-like conditions will be likely to develop late Friday.

Snow was expected to be heavy at times with 40 mph winds.

Total accumulation from the storm was expected to be 6-9 inches.

The NWS also advised of the possibility of dangerous wind chills, reaching as low as 35 below.

"This is a dangerous storm and travel will likely become impossible by (Friday night) in most areas," the NWS said on its website.

Travel already was becoming problematic in the state. The Minnesota Department of Transportation and Minnesota State Patrol temporary had to close Interstate 94 from Moorhead to Alexandria and Highway 10 from Moorhead to Detroit Lakes due to hazardous road conditions.

Locally, the weather prompted the closure of the warming houses and outdoor ice rinks at Nymore Park and Bemidji City Park on Friday. The city hoped to have them back open on Saturday, but those plans were weather-dependent based on the severity of the second storm.

Due to weather, all NSIC men's and women's basketball schedules have been adjusted for the next two weekends.

The weather also canceled the sleigh ride plans at Buena Vista Ski Area, although tubing went on as scheduled.

In sports, the weather caused the postponement of all weekend basketball games in the collegiate NSIC league. The Bemidji State at Minnesota Duluth games now will be played on Monday.

MnDOT has issues a press release suggesting some safe-driving tips for drivers trying to navigate winter roadways.

E Buckle up, and make sure child restraints are secured tight and properly.

E Drive at safe speeds according to road conditions, and plan for additional travel time.

E Increase safe stopping distance between vehicles.

E Use extra precautions when driving around snowplows by keeping at least five car-lengths behind plows.

E If skidding, remain calm, ease foot off the gas and turn the steering wheel in the direction that the front of the vehicle should go.

E If vehicle has an anti-lock braking system, apply a steady firm pressure to the brake pedal. Never pump ABS brakes.

E Clear snow and ice from vehicle windows, hood, headlights, brake lights and directional signals.

E Headlights must be turned on when it is snowing or sleeting.

E Do not use cruise control on snow/icy/wet roads.

E Motorists should equip their vehicles with a scraper/brush, small shovel, jumper cables and a bag of sand or cat litter for tire traction. Blanket(s), heavy boots, warm clothing and flashlights are also important, as are storing high-energy foods such as chocolate or energy bars.

E Parents of teen drivers should make sure new motorists experience snow and ice driving in a safe environment, such as an empty parking lot.

For weather-related road condition information call 511 or visit www.511mn.org.

MnDOT has issues a press release suggesting some safe-driving tips for drivers trying to navigate winter roadways.

- Buckle up, and make sure child restraints are secured tight and properly.

- Drive at safe speeds according to road conditions, and plan for additional travel time.

- Increase safe stopping distance between vehicles.

- Use extra precautions when driving around snowplows by keeping at least five car-lengths behind plows.

- If skidding, remain calm, ease foot off the gas and turn the steering wheel in the direction that the front of the vehicle should go.

- If vehicle has an anti-lock braking system, apply a steady firm pressure to the brake pedal. Never pump ABS brakes.

- Clear snow and ice from vehicle windows, hood, headlights, brake lights and directional signals.

- Headlights must be turned on when it is snowing or sleeting.

- Do not use cruise control on snow/icy/wet roads.

- Motorists should equip their vehicles with a scraper/brush, small shovel, jumper cables and a bag of sand or cat litter for tire traction. Blanket(s), heavy boots, warm clothing and flashlights are also important, as are storing high-energy foods such as chocolate or energy bars.

- Parents of teen drivers should make sure new motorists experience snow and ice driving in a safe environment, such as an empty parking lot.

For weather-related road condition information call 511 or visit www.511mn.org.

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Bethany Wesley
(218) 333-9200 x337
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