Crews struggle to keep roads clear as winter storm takes cross-country tour

John Murphy
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Crews struggle to keep roads clear as winter storm takes cross-country tour

A winter storm dumped snow across upstate New York and portions of New England on Tuesday as it skirted across the Canadian border. The storm first rolled into the Pacific Northwest over the weekend before taking a cross-country tour, dropping several inches of snow across different regions and causing dangerous travel conditions.

Portions of upstate New York had reported upwards of 5 inches of snow by midday Tuesday, with 5.5 inches covering Wells, New York.

Take a look below for a region-by-region breakdown of the storm's impacts.

Slippery conditions and delays persisted across portions of the Upper Midwest on Tuesday following the storm's snowfall on Monday. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) tweeted on Tuesday morning and acknowledged that road conditions were rough.

"Yes, roads were tough this morning. Yes, crews were out working all night," the department said, adding that motorists should drive slow and increase following distance.

Josie Smith, traffic reporter at KSTP-TV in Minneapolis and St. Paul, had her hands full on Tuesday as she tried to keep up with all of the mishaps on area roadways. The station's Twitter feed dedicated to traffic turned into a live-tweeted chronicle of crashes and fender-benders happening amid the snowfall. "Whoa!" Smith wrote on Twitter just after 8 a.m. "Another jack-knifed semi!"

Just hours earlier another semi-truck had jack-knifed on I-94 at St. Croix Trail in Minnesota, near the Wisconsin border.

Two to 4 inches of snow buried many areas in Minnesota on Monday as residents and crews between St. Cloud and Minneapolis were left digging out from more than 5 inches of snow.

Roads were snow-covered on Monday as the storm swept through Minnesota and Wisconsin. A crash amid slick conditions in eastern Minnesota on Monday left a 30-year-old woman in critical condition, according to CBSN Minnesota.

The storm unloaded snow in the Rockies Sunday into Monday before taking aim at the Midwest. However, a piece of the system got caught in the region as up-flow winds into the Colorado Rockies ignited snowfall around Colorado Springs Monday night into Tuesday, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

The region was covered by several inches of snow, causing significant travel delays around the metro area on Tuesday morning. Colorado Springs was put under accident alert by the police department early this week as travel times to Denver on I-25 became more than 20 minutes slower than usual.

Multiple accidents were reported along the snowy I-25, including roll-over crashes near Walsenburg and an accident that caused a light pole to block merging lanes just south of Fillmore, the Colorado Springs Police Department said, adding that alcohol was believed to be a contributing factor in the Fillmore crash.

Many schools around southern Colorado were either delayed or closed, including the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. The U.S. Air Force Academy also closed to non-mission essential personnel as a result of the snow and ice.

The El Paso County public information officer tweeted that plows were out in full force to clear roads on Tuesday, but snow was quickly recovering surfaces.

Areas near Colorado Springs picked up as much as 5 inches of snow from the storm system -- and Tuesday marked the 10th day in Colorado Springs with snow in the month of February, the 10th most for the month since 2003.

Portions of western Montana, including Missoula, were under snow squall warnings and winter storm advisories late Sunday night into Monday as record snow piled up over some locations.

Missoula's 3.2 inches of snow by early Monday afternoon broke the previous daily record of 2.5 inches set in 2018, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). S. Pattee Canyon, an area southeast of Missoula that sits at an elevation of 4,500 feet, received 9 inches of snow.

As the morning commute started in Missoula on Tuesday, roads were snow-covered and hazardous. A multi-vehicle accident blocked all northbound lanes of a road near Lolo and Missoula, NBC Montana reported.

Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.