Bismarck, ND (KXNET) — Williams County Commissioners have declared a Winter Storm Emergency in response to the April 23-24 blizzard that left roads blocked with snow and thousands of utility customers without power.

An emergency declaration acknowledges that impacts of the storm will continue for weeks and result in long-term consequences for citizens and communities.

The storm caused widespread power outages, tremendous damage to electrical infrastructure, and road closures throughout the entire region due to snow blockage and low visibility.

According to the press release from Williams County, the three utility companies providing service within the County (Lower Yellowstone Electric Cooperative, Montana Dakota Utilities, and Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative) have 600+ damaged power poles and miles of power line to repair; it may take more than five days to restore all customers with power.