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I-94 closed both directions after separate pileups in blizzard conditions

The crashes happened in Monticello and Albertville.
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Interstate 94 is closed in both directions after separate crashes miles apart northwest of the Twin Cities.

The multi-vehicle crashes happened eastbound between Monticello and Rogers around 2:45 p.m., and a short time later on westbound I-94 in Albertville.

They are among seven that have happened in a 25-mile stretch between Monticello and Albertville. 

A blizzard warning issued Wednesday morning has been expanded to include the Twin Cities and the area to the west.

Snow coupled with driving winds is causing whiteout conditions in some areas, and plunging temperatures are affecting traction on road surfaces.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation said that eastbound I-94 will be closed for "several hours" due to the pileup.

At this stage, it's not clear how long westbound I-94 will be closed.

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