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Frigid weather: A look at school closures, morning traffic and more

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Wind chills that have been in the negative for days dipped even lower for much of the state overnight, greeting Minnesotans Wednesday morning with the dangerously cold, bone-chilling temps that were forecast.

At about 9:30 a.m., the warnings issued across much of the state were extended, KSTP's Ken Barlow tweeted.

Here's a look at how that weather is impacting people.

School closures

Dozens of schools around the state are closed today.

You can find a full list on several sites, including KARE 11, WCCO, the Duluth News Tribune and the Rochester Post-Bulletin.

St. Paul went with a mix, keeping the schools open but not counting an absence against any students.

For parents who may be in a bind due to the closures, WCCO has suggestions for last-minute childcare options.

If you're thinking about proper protection, WCCO tackled the question of gloves-vs.-mittens – which ones work better? The answer: Well, it depends on what they're made of and how they fit.

Morning rush hour

There was concern that Wednesday morning's commute would be a repeat of Tuesday, when dozens of cars spun out or crashed on slick roads.

The big concern was black ice, which is nearly impossible to see and forms when it's cold enough for car exhaust to freeze over on the road.

There were some reports of spinouts and crashes during the morning commute, including a semitrailer that spun out and blocked lanes on Interstate 94, but overall the drive was less treacherous than Tuesday morning.

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People driving through the Uptown area of Minneapolis were advised to avoid the area Tuesday morning. Reports say a broken water main or sprinkler flooded the intersection of Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street, according to the Star Tribune.

And a reminder to those who leave their vehicles unattended while warming them up:

Proper clothing, shelter

Simply staying warm is a struggle for many. KSTP reports Project REACH in St. Paul is taking winter coat donations to help the estimated 2,000 homeless students in the district.

The frigid weather prompted the Rochester Salvation Army to opens its doors for the first time this season Tuesday night, ABC 6 reports. The shelter is usually only open during the day.

KARE 11 reports the Salvation Army planned to open nine locations as “warming centers” during the daytime this week, with doors expected to remain open into the evening.

The forecast

Brutal cold air moved in overnight. The coldest of the cold will be during the predawn hours through mid-morning Wednesday. Temperatures will be in the teens below zero in much of the state at that time.

The forecast is calling for a low near minus 13 degrees in the Twin Cities, but between negative 20 and negative 25 degrees in northern Minnesota.

Don't expect it to get above zero today. The wind chill will likely make the temps feel anywhere from 10 to 25 degrees colder. For more details, read the full forecast here.

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