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Insight from WFPD: Storm information from start to finish

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opinion Fargo,North Dakota 58102
Insight from WFPD: Storm information from start to finish
Fargo North Dakota 101 5th Street North 58102

A portion of the material in this article is repeated from a previous edition due to recent storm conditions that have resulted in questions from residents relating to warnings, road closures and the subsequent clean-up.


The following terms will be used to relate to winter road conditions, to maintain consistency, and keep the traveling public well informed. The NDDOT will utilize these terms to inform the public about road conditions that warrant increased awareness.

Travel Alerts are issued to alert motorists that areas of challenging winter weather driving conditions may be encountered on roadways. Conditions are such that motorists can still travel; however, they should be aware that rapidly changing conditions may result in travel delays due to reduced speeds and visibility. Drivers may also find roadways blocked due to unreported stalled vehicles, accidents or snow accumulations.

No Travel Advisories are issued when conditions warrant no travel but not a road closure. No Travel Advisories have the potential to change to a road closure if conditions deteriorate. Motorists are urged to take No Travel Advisories seriously.  Conditions change often during a storm event and motorists may become stranded if they are caught between destinations. Restrict travel to essential travel only. Assess your personal safety against your need to travel.

Roads are closed when conditions create a life-threatening danger to motorists. It is against the law to drive past a road closure device on a closed road. Motorists should also obey road closures announcements even when a sign or a gate is not present. Under ND Century Code 39-10-21.1 local law enforcement can close a roadway when a danger to the public exists. Law enforcement will only declare a road closed on a road by road basis.

During the course of a storm road crews will attempt to keep snow emergency routes open to allow for access within the city for emergency vehicle response. Snow emergency routes are pre-designated and marked for easy identification. During a snow event West Fargo ordinance 2-0403 makes it is illegal for a vehicle to remain parked on a snow emergency route. Vehicles found in violation of this section are subject to be immediately impounded.

Road crews struggle to clear snow from around vehicles stuck upon the roadway or those vehicles parked on the shoulder. West Fargo ordinance 15-0310 makes it a nuisance for a vehicle to be left on a roadway when the vehicle interferes with the removal of snow by road crews. The police department will impound vehicles they find stuck upon the roadway or those reported by the road crews.

Property owners are required to remove snow from their sidewalk in accordance with West Fargo ordinances 2-0121 and 15-0309. Failure to remove the snow can result in a fine. The city may also hire crews to clear the snow and charge the costs to the property owner.

When removing snow from your property be aware of the restrictions of placing snow or ice on the roadway under ordinance 13-0706. You are not allowed to deposit, place or dump snow on the roadway or allow the practice to occur. You also may not push snow across the roadway and onto the right of way of the property across from yours.

With the volume of snow we have received we must all practice being good neighbors. Work with your neighbors to share snow storage areas. Make sure the fire hydrants on your property remain clear of snow to allow access in case of a fire. Clean snow from the areas where students wait for the school bus. Use caution at intersections or when leaving your driveway and be alert for vehicles or pedestrians obstructed from view.