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I-94 in North Dakota reopens after blizzard

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - Interstate 94 from Bismarck to Jamestown has reopened, but a travel alert is still in effect for the area.

The state Department of Transportation says conditions between Sterling and Jamestown consist of areas of scattered ice and blowing snow that's creating reduced visibility.

Some schools and universities closed Thursday because of the blizzard.

A blizzard that swept through parts of the Dakotas on Thursday made travel treacherous and prompted the shutdown of roads, public schools and even universities.

The National Weather Service posted blizzard warnings in eastern North Dakota and eastern South Dakota, as well as in parts of Minnesota. The impacted area included the James River and Red River valleys.

The system that moved in from Canada brought only about an inch of snow, but winds gusting to 70 mph created whiteout conditions. No travel was advised in many areas, and North Dakota's Transportation Department shut down Interstate 94 between Bismarck and Jamestown late Thursday morning.

A wind gust of 72 mph was reported at Forbes on the North Dakota-South Dakota border. Sustained winds of 74 mph are considered hurricane force.

Public schools throughout the region shut down for the day. North Dakota's two largest universities _ the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks and North Dakota State University in Fargo also closed.

The weather also presented a challenge for officials in the eastern South Dakota city of Madison working to fix a water shortage in the community of 6,500 people caused by the collapse of a roof over a city water tank.

Even colder weather was forecast to follow the blizzard, with wind chills in the region early Friday dropping to as low as 30 degrees below zero. But a warm-up is in store for the weekend, with high temperatures in the 20s and 30s.

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