The interstates are back open from border to border after a historic, three-day blizzard shut them down.
Sgt. Adrian Martinez sat down with KX News to discuss the last few days and what state troopers were doing to help.
Since the snowstorm began, troopers were busy responding all over North Dakota.
“Our troopers are hard workers. They’ve been working 12, 17, 18 hours a day, working the roadways making sure the people are safe. A lot of people going into the ditches, a lot of crashes, lot of conditions where you can’t see very well,” Martinez said.
The day before the blizzard began, Highway Patrol and the state Parks and Recreation Department coordinated moving snowmobiles and UTVs around the state in case of the need for potential rescues. Locations were based on snow predictions by the National Weather Service, so snowmobiles and UTVs were placed in Minot, Bottineau, New Salem, Devils Lake, Underwood, Bismarck, Dickinson, Bowman, Carrington, Elgin, Valley City, Marion and Stanley.
Next, the blizzard came.
Around 6:30 p.m., a trooper responded to a motorist on I-94 west of Steele. The motorist was in the ditch and was stuck. The trooper gave the two occupants a ride to the Coffee Cup in Steele.
Around 4:55 p.m., a trooper responded to a call of a vehicle in the ditch on I-94 in Dickinson. The trooper gave the driver a ride to a hotel in Dickinson.
Around 2:21 p.m., a trooper responded to a vehicle in the median on I-94 near Dickinson. The trooper gave the driver a ride to Dickinson.
Around 1:55 p.m., a trooper responded to a vehicle in the median on I-94 near Bismarck. The trooper gave the driver a ride into Bismarck.
Around 9:30 a.m., a trooper responded to a crash in Bismarck involving a Bismarck Police Department vehicle.
Around 11:26 a.m., a trooper responded to a semi in the ditch on I-94 in Dickinson.
Around 12:30 p.m., a trooper responded to a crash on I-94 between Sterling and Steele.
Around 3:30 a.m., a trooper was called to do a blood run from Minot to Bottineau. The trip took nearly four hours. Department of Transportation snowplow operators helped clear the way.
Around 8 p.m., a trooper responded to a stranded motorist on Highway 36 west of Pingree. The motorist was stuck after trying to avoid the interstate closure. The trooper used the agency’s UTV to get from Carrington to the motorist’s vehicle. A Stutsman County deputy also responded. The trooper and deputy shoveled the motorist out and they was able to follow the deputy to Jamestown.
Around 10 p.m., a trooper responded to the report of a motorist in the ditch on Highway 85 north of Belfield. The driver was arrested for actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
A trooper shuttled five State Radio dispatchers from their home to the Law Enforcement Training Academy in Bismarck. Dispatchers stayed at the academy so they could easily access State Radio. The photo on the left is a dispatcher getting into Lt. Luke Hendrickson’s patrol vehicle. The photo on the right is Hendrickson and Alayna from State Radio.
Around 8:15 a.m., a trooper responded to a call of a vehicle in the median near Crystal Springs rest area on I-94. The driver reported being in the vehicle since the previous evening. The trooper transported the driver to a hotel in Steele.
A trooper responded from Elgin to pick up two people who were stuck about 40 miles from Elgin.
Highway Patrol coordinated with the Department of Transportation and Department of Emergency Services to recover several plow operators who were stuck throughout the Minot district. Members of the North Dakota Snowmobile Club provided rides on snowmobiles to troopers who had to abandon their stuck vehicles.
Around 5:20 p.m., troopers responded to a crash on I-94 between Sterling and Steele.
A trooper assisted the McKenzie County Sheriff’s Office with three rescues in the Watford City area using their UTV.
A trooper in Minot helped remove 30 CMVs on Highway 2 within the Minot area who were stopped at road closure signs and find parking.
A trooper helped rescue five stranded motorists from County Road 139 west of New Salem and transported them to New Salem. The trooper was assisted by a New Salem resident.
A trooper located two stranded motorists near Almont, and with the Almont Fire Department and Morton County Highway Department, transported them to safety in Almont.
Troopers in the northwest region provided countless assistance to stranded and stuck
motorists. They discovered abandoned and occupied vehicles, physically shoveled and pushed
vehicles out, provided rides from the scene, provided traffic control for towing operators and
provided people information at gate closures that were staffed 24/7 during the closure.