April blizzard shuts down travel, knocks out power to western Dakotas

April 25, 2022

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A spring blizzard knocked out power to thousands of people across western North Dakota and northwest South Dakota, and utility officials said it will likely take at least several days to restore power to everyone.

The snow, combined with strong winds that gusted up to 60 mph and freezing rain, to create hazardous driving conditions. And the storm knocked down tree limbs and power lines.

More than 14,000 utility customers in North Dakota and another nearly 1,500 in South Dakota lacked power Sunday afternoon.

The National Weather Service said more than a foot of snow was reported in places across western North Dakota, including 18 inches near Niobe in the northwest corner of the state.

There were very difficult, if not impossible, travel conditions in parts of the Black Hills over the weekend.

The South Dakota Department of Transportation closed Interstate 90 to both east and westbound traffic from Sturgis to the Wyoming state line Saturday night, but reopened it on Sunday morning as conditions began to improve.

Numerous No Travel Advisories were issued for areas of western South Dakota as the combination of the newly fallen snow and high wind was reducing visibilities and creating hazardous winter driving conditions.