Livestock producers urged to brace for storm

BISMARCK – Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring is urging North Dakota livestock producers to take immediate action to prevent losses from an anticipated major blizzard.

“The National Weather Service is predicting a major winter storm to impact most of western and central North Dakota this evening through Monday evening,” Goehring said Sunday afternoon. “Heavy snow of 8 to 12 inches is expected in much of the area with winds of up to 45 miles-per-hour causing whiteout conditions.”

Goehring and Dr. Susan Keller, the state veterinarian, said producers should make every effort to gather their animals into sheltered areas with adequate feed and water.

“This is a particularly difficult time for producers with calving well underway,” Keller said. “Making sure these animals – especially the calves – are sheltered is an absolute priority.”

Goehring said producers needing help should contact their local extension agent, county law enforcement or the North Dakota Department of Agriculture.

“The weather service says travel will become dangerous, even impossible, in the hardest hit areas of the state,” he said.

The potential storm area includes most of the state south of a line from the southwest corner to the northeast.

As of Sunday afternoon, a blizzard warning was in effect from Bowman, Hettinger and Dickinson through Bismarck and Linton to Harvey, Carrington, Jamestown and Oakes with snow of 8 to 12 inches. The James River Valley could see snow of up to 15 inches.

A winter storm warning was in effect from Beach, Medora and Killdeer through Beulah, Washburn and Garrison to McClusky and Rugby with heavy snow of 6 to 12 inches and wind gusts of up to 35 miles-per-hour.

A winter weather advisory is in effect from Watford City and New Town through Minot and Towner to Rolla with snow of 3 to 6 inches.

Goehring and Keller said producers should monitor local radio and the National Weather Service website at www.weather.gov/bis or up-to-date weather conditions and predictions.