A family stands on the roof of their snow covered house in Wahpeton after a blizzard. Snow covers most of the house, and trees in the yard. A man sits in a chair on top of one of the larger drifts, reading a newspaper.
When the winds blow snow across open prairie, the first thing that stand above ground level slows the wind and the resulting snow drifts can pile up. This house near Wahpeton stopped the wind which left a huge drift in the front yard in 1893. Drifts can block roads, prevent people from getting out of their houses, and stop trains.