Snow Snarls Highway Travel in N.D.

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BISMARCK, N.D. May 6, 2002 (AP) -- Forget the calendar. Up to 7 inches of snow made travel difficult Monday across western and central North Dakota.

``I haven't heard anyone say there's no problems out there _ everybody is complaining this morning,'' said Joy Simon, manager of a gas station in Washburn.

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for northwest and north central North Dakota and the Highway Patrol advised no travel at all in McLean and Williams counties. Snow also fell in parts of northeastern Montana.

By midmorning, the temperature in Bismarck was only up to 28 degrees. The weather service said 7 inches of snow was reported at McClusky in Sheridan County, with 6 inches at Halliday in Dunn County. More snow is possible through Wednesday.

Simon said there were numerous reports of vehicles sliding into ditches.

``One gal was doing 35 (mph), and she totally did a loop-de-loop,'' Simon said.

Ron Hagen, who manages a truck stop in Williston, said highway traffic speeds in northwestern North Dakota were down to 15 mph at times because of slippery pavement and poor visibility.

``I got up this morning, put the coffee on, looked at my neighbor's roof and said 'Oh, no,''' Hagen said. ``We may get a nice day in July, who knows.''

The last time North Dakota saw so much snow in May was in 1991, when 6 1/2 inches fell in Bismarck on May 3, said Todd Hamilton, a weather service meteorologist in Bismarck.

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