(Williams County, ND) -- Williams County Commissioners have declared a Winter Storm Emergency within the region in response this weekend's blizzard.
Williams County Emergency Management says roads are completely blocked with snow and thousands of utility customers are without power at this time. The wide-spread outages, heavy damage to electrical infrastructure, low visibility, and heavy snow blockage are the key factors for the emergency declaration.
The Williams County Sheriff's Office says those who do not have power can check in for temporary shelter located at Williston Parks and Recreation District’s Area Recreation Center (ARC) at 822 18th St E, Williston. Those seeking shelter are encouraged to bring personal items like toothbrushes and deodorant, medications, sleeping bags and pillows. Families and individuals are asked to keep pets at home during this time. No drugs, alcohol, or weapons are allowed at the shelter. You can see the Facebook post by the Williams County Sheriff's Office by clicking here.
Officials say impacts from the blizzard could leave lasting effects which residents can feel for weeks. Power is expected to be restored within 5 days to all customers. Ag producers will feel long term impacts from the storm due to stress of livestock herds, unseasonably cold temperatures, and the delaying of planting within the region.