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Forget dreaming about a “White Christmas.” People in North Dakota are ready for a white Halloween.
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Gov. Doug Burgum announced on Friday, Oct. 11 — yes, the 11th of October — that he activated the state’s emergency operations plan in response to a major winter storm.
The National Weather Service issued blizzard and winter storm warnings for different parts of the state, saying that as much as 18 inches of snow could fall in some areas by early Saturday afternoon. Forecasters warned that blowing snow would significantly reduce visibility and could make traveling impossible during the storm.
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“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 in a press release. “We’re committed to a whole-of-government approach to protect human life and property and ensure our citizens have the resources necessary to respond and recover from this crippling event.”
The North Dakota Highway Patrol said it had helped dozens of drivers who were stranded in the worsening conditions. The North Dakota National Guard was also pre-positioned across the state to help areas affected by the storm.