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Commute stretches into lunch hour on snowy, icy roads

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The good news: there were no significant crashes Monday morning on metro freeways. The bad: It took some commuters a long time to get to work Monday morning. The ugly: The afternoon commute might not be too fun, either.

One day after a winter storm walloped the state, plows were still struggling dig out snow- and ice-covered roads as a deep freeze settled over Minnesota.

Motorists reported trips taking three times longer than normal, with the north suburbs particularly slow, the Star Tribune reported. Traffic as late as 11:40 a.m. was barely creeping along on Interstate 694 near Silver Lake Road, the newspaper said. About 56 percent of buses were running late as they accommodated increased ridership numbers, the Star Tribune reported.

Other trouble spots Monday, the Pioneer Press reported: Interstate 35W south of I-494 and north of the Crosstown, Minnesota 36 west between I-35E and Minnesota 280, U.S. 169 south and I-35W north of I-694.

(The newspaper reported it was the third-largest single-day, December snowfall on record for the Twin Cities. The largest: 16.3 inches on Dec. 11, 2010.)

Hundreds of people woke up to no car at all – nearly 800 cars in Minneapolis and St. Paul were towed due to snow emergencies, KARE 11 reported.

There have been nearly 650 crashes and 1,300 spinouts since 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Fox 9 reported.

Among those who ended up in a ditch was the driver of a snowplow truck who slid off the road at Wildwood Road and Highway 61, the Red Wing Republican Eagle reported.

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