Snow making travel treacherous in metro, across Minnesota

·3 min read

A snowstorm that could bring up to 5 inches of snow to parts of the metro area and even more to southern and western Minnesota has turned roads treacherous and is making travel difficult.

Between 5 and 11:30 a.m., the State Patrol responded to 159 crashes across the state and 66 vehicles that spun out or went off the road. No deaths were reported with any of the incidents, but 22 people suffered injuries, said Sgt. Troy Christianson of the State Patrol.

At 12:30, a multi-car crash was blocking lanes in both directions of Interstate 94 at Weaver Lake Road in Maple Grove. Traffic was crawling along on eastbound Interstate 494 near Hwy. 100 in Bloomington where a motorist landed in the ditch. A semitrailer truck jackknifed and landed in the center median on I-35 near Dundas, Minn., just south of the Northfield exit, the Minnesota Department of Transportation said.

"Snow covered roadways and reduced visibility are making travel conditions difficult in south central and southwest Minnesota," the Minnesota Department of Transportation said.

"Please drive with care," the State Patrol added.

Conditions were deteriorating rapidly as snow piled up across the state as the storm moved from the northwest to the southeast. Forecasters predict between 6 and 10 inches of snow to fall in an area stretching from Fergus Falls south to the Iowa border and from the South Dakota border east to the Mankato area, the National Weather Service said.

The heaviest amounts are likely to fall in a line from Glenwood in west-central Minnesota to Albert Lea. A Winter Storm warning remains in effect until 9 p.m.

Lesser amounts — 3 to 6 inches — are expected on a line from St. Cloud through the western metro and southern metro to Red Wing and Rochester, where a winter weather advisory is in effect until 9 p.m. Friday.

As of 12:30 p.m., 7 1⁄2 inches of snow had fallen in Dawson in western Minnesota and 5 1⁄2 inches had piled up in Redwood Falls. About 2.6 inches had accumulated at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, the National Weather Service said.

A sharp cutoff, however, means places such as Anoka, Ramsey and northern parts of Washington counties may see only 1 to 3 inches while Hennepin, Scott, Dakota and Carver counties could pick up 2 to 5 inches, the weather service said.

Snow began falling in the metro before daybreak and is expected to continue until early Friday evening, the weather service said.

Temperatures also are expected to fall throughout the day from near 20 degrees Friday morning to just above zero for an overnight low. Saturday will be sunny with a high in the teens with temperatures rebounding to near 30 degrees by Sunday.

Another shot of light snow arrives Sunday before a mostly sunny Monday through Wednesday. After a 32-degree high on Tuesday, temperatures will nosedive to below zero by Tuesday night, the weather service said.

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