Emergency plan activated amid fall snowstorm

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum on Friday activated the state’s emergency plan due to what he called a crippling snowstorm that closed major highways and had farmers and ranchers bracing for huge crop and livestock losses.

“The extraordinary intensity of this early winter storm threatens to test the limits of local response capabilities across a large portion of our state,” Burgum said of the plan that places on standby all agency resources, including the National Guard, to respond to weather-related emergencies.

Burgum said the state would “ensure our citizens have the resources necessary to respond and recover from this crippling event.”

The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for northern North Dakota and winter storm warnings and watches elsewhere in the state and into parts of South Dakota and Minnesota through Saturday afternoon. One to 2 feet of snow was expected to accumulate Friday in parts of North Dakota with winds gusting up to 65 mph .

The October storm dumped more than a foot of snow on Bismarck, the state capital. The National Weather Service reports 13.2 inches of snow fell in Bismarck as of late Friday morning. Jamestown has a report of 14 inches. Weather Service meteorologist Bill Abeling said the snow was still falling late Friday afternoon and that Bismarck could see up to 4 more inches by Saturday afternoon.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol tweeted that over a dozen road rescues happened between Jamestown and Crystal Springs Friday morning. One was a bus with 42 people on board.