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Dec. 30, 2010: 'Maybe 100' car pile-up temporarily closes I-94 west of Fargo

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West Central Tribune
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FARGO - The eastbound lanes of Interstate 94 between Mapleton and Raymond, approximately 10 miles west of Fargo, have been temporarily closed by the North Dakota Department of Transportation due to a traffic accident involving "maybe 100" vehicles, a DOT official said.

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Bruce Nord, maintenance supervisor for the DOT's southeast district, said he was at the scene of the accident.

"I'm guessing maybe 100" trucks and cars were involved, he told The Forum.

North Dakota Highway Patrol Sgt. Dave Wolf said the accident scene is about a quarter-mile long, and he estimated a dozen or so vehicles were involved, but he noted he couldn't see the entire scene.

"We're blocked. We can't get through because of a semi that's blocking the entire road. Until we can get him moved out of the way, we don't even know what's beyond that," he said.

At least two people were transported by ambulance, but the extent of their injuries wasn't known, Wolf said.

The Highway Patrol is advising no travel, he said.

"Visibility is zero. Roads are glare ice. It's 10, maybe 15 mph. If you have to stop quick, you're sliding at that speed," he said.

Traffic will be detoured at the Mapleton Exit Ramp onto ND Highway 10 until the area has been cleared.

At about 1 p.m., the DOT issued a no-travel advisory for the eastern part of the state because of blowing snow causing reduced visibility, down to zero at times. The advisory includes I-94 from Tappen to the Minnesota border and I-29 between South Dakota and Canada.

Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist has issued a no-travel advisory in the rural areas of the county.

"We are experiencing zero visibility on all roads and highways when you are outside the city limits," Bergquist said.

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