First major snowfall

A car rests in the median after sliding off the road at State Street and East Boulevard Avenue in Bismarck as the first major snowfall of the season covered much of western and central North Dakota with upward of six inches of snow blanketing the region. The heavy, wet snow caused slippery road conditions with a winter weather advisory declared by the National Weather Service. The sun is expected to come out today with high temperatures expected near 15 degrees.

The first major snowfall of the season resulted in dozens of vehicle crashes across Bismarck on Friday.

Bismarck police Lt. Steve Scheuer said, from 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., there were more than 90 crashes, three of which resulted in injuries, which Scheuer said were not serious.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation state Highway Patrol issued a travel alert Friday afternoon for portions of southwest and central North Dakota due to icy road conditions and as temperatures continued to decrease. A travel alert means motorists are advised to use caution while driving and be aware of rapidly changing weather conditions.

The travel alert covered Beach, Mott, Dickinson, Killdeer, Beulah, Parshall, Garrison, Velva, Linton, Mandan, Bismarck, Steele, Medina, Ellendale, as well as the surrounding areas.

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Bismarck crews on Friday began plowing and sanding emergency routes, major arterial streets and school routes.

The National Weather Service in Bismarck said, as of 5 p.m., four inches of snow had fallen in Bismarck.

Reports were still coming in Friday afternoon, but Chauncy Shultz, a meteorologist with NWS Bismarck, said there was an "area with particularly heavy snow" from Killdeer to Glen Ullin to Solen that was reporting four to five inches, but "when it's all said and done" may have six or eight inches of snow.

Temperatures will be cooler in Bismarck on Saturday, with a high of about 15 degrees.

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(Reach Blair Emerson at 701-250-8251 or Blair.Emerson@bismarcktribune.com)