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One pickup truck is completely buried by a huge drift that partially covers a second vehicle in an apartment complex parking lot Saturday. Dave Wallis/The Pioneer

Winter weather wallops West Fargo

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The punch the Christmas blizzard packed last week was met head-on by West Fargo street, police and fire officials, causing a few unpleasantries for people leaving their vehicles parked on the streets. Other than that, the situation went quite well and the calls were fairly typical of other past snowstorms.

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West Fargo Assistant Police Chief Mike Reitan said there were a number of accidents associated with the storm, but none of them serious. The biggest issue seemed to be motorists traveling on the roadways after conditions had deteriorated, with their vehicles becoming stranded, requiring towing services.

"The downside was people who did elect to drive after no travel was advised," Reitan said. "That was the biggest problem. It puts them in danger under those conditions, and their vehicles, when they become stalled on roadways, block emergency access to that area."

He said some situations dictated vehicles being towed. If they were on a snow emergency route, they were removed right away. If they were on a side street, owners were given a little more time to retrieve their vehicles before they were towed.

Reitan commended the city's public works department saying "they did a tremendous job of keeping the snow emergency routes open which allowed police and fire to get to locations that they needed to be able to get to."

Luckily, there were no major police or fire calls received throughout the duration of the storm.

Reitan encourages motorists to remember that "winter driving preparations apply in the city as well as driving in the country. You never know when your car is going to be become disabled and you could potentially be without heat for an extended period of time."

He also said one thing apparent, especially in his neighborhood, was the kindness of residents banding together to help each other dig out from the mountains of snow in the aftermath of the first major storm of the season.

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