Life in Pierce County back to normal after weekend blizzard | News, Sports, Jobs

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Children at Little Flower Elementary School play in a large pile of snow on the playground at recess March 13. School began as normal after a weekend blizzard created drifts as many as five feet high or more in parts of Pierce County.

Hardy Pierce County residents hunkered down over the weekend when a blizzard dumped about nine inches of snow on the area.

As soon as the sun peeked through the clouds and the winds died down, people went outside to dig out and resume normal life.

On Monday, business as usual returned to the area, with no delays for school start times or most business openings. Local National Weather Service reporters KZZJ Radio announced they had measured 1.5 inches of snow on the blizzard’s first day, and 7.5 inches on its second.

The storm began with intermittent snowfall and some wind Friday, March 10 before a larger system settled over the north central part of North Dakota early on March 11. Winds gusted as high as 45 miles per hour in some parts of the county.

The blizzard postponed some events slated for the weekend. The fundraiser luau for Rugby Dollars for Scholars set for March 11 moved to March 18. Organizers of the Rugby Spring Gymnastics Show moved the event from March 12 to March 13.

Interstates and highways in North Dakota closed down at times, especially in the southwestern part of the state to eastern Montana. At the storm’s peak, all roads in the state appeared on the North Dakota Department of Transportation’s map striped in red and white, meaning “No Travel Advised.”

Most residents decided to play it safe and stay home.

Pierce County Sheriff Josh Siegler reported his office had received no calls for service during the blizzard.

“I think everybody kind of hunkered down,” he said. ” I see the city had a couple of general 911 calls, but other than that, it was fairly quiet for us.”

Siegler said the storm’s severity and a blizzard warning issued by the NWS kept people off local roads.

“It came in pretty ferocious, so I don’t think a lot of people wanted to chance it,” he said.

At Little Flower Catholic School, Principal Kevin Leier said farmers and ranchers near the area where he and his family lived had been temporarily snowed in behind huge drifts that blocked driveways.

After the bulk of the storm had passed late on March 11, City of Rugby workers manned snow removal equipment to clear some streets so residents could attend church services. Some churches canceled services on Sunday.

Forecasts called for a 50% chance of more snow falling March 15 and 16. The prediction included wind gusts peaking at about 29 miles per hour.

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