Things are pretty much back to normal in the northern panhandle after Saturday’s winter storm closed all highways in the area from Saturday afternoon or early evening until late Sunday morning. . The last one didn’t reopen until 1:30 p.m.
Snowfall amounts weren’t that high, but winds of 30 to 40 mph gusting over 50 and 60 mph created blizzard conditions that closed some of the highways and deep drifts that closed the rest .
There have been several reports of accidents, some with tractor-trailers, in the area, as well as a number of vehicles sliding off the sidewalk.
Many reports came from Sheridan County, where a law enforcement vehicle was among those off the roadway.
Other police vehicles helped rescue stranded motorists, either transporting individuals to Hay Springs and Rushville or driving caravans of freed vehicles to the two towns.
The storm was much worse to the north, closing most of Interstate 90 west of Sturgis, Montana on Saturday night. Up to 18 inches of snow was reported in North Dakota and well over a foot in parts of northwestern South Dakota.
The blizzard also knocked out power to thousands of people in the two states, about 1,500 in western North Dakota and more than 14,000 in northwestern South Dakota, officials warning it would probably take several days to restore service for everyone.