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MnDOT reopens some highways; black ice plagues metro roads

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As strong wind died down across the state Monday morning, the Minnesota Department of Transportation began reopening major roadways that were too dangerous for travel on Sunday.

Interstate 90 west of Albert Lea to the South Dakota border was reopened around 8 a.m. after snowplows cleared snowdrifts on the road and tow trucks removed cars that ended up in ditches Sunday.

KAAL reports whiteout conditions forced about 70 people to seek shelter overnight at the Business Arts & Recreation Center in Windom where the Red Cross set up cots. More than 120 people spent the night at Albert Lea and Olivia armories, according to FOX 9.

The Rochester Post Bulletin says driving conditions are still difficult in southeast Minnesota, but should improve this afternoon.

Blizzard-like conditions too dangerous for snow plows also prompted the closure of multiple roadways in west-central and northwest Minnesota. Minnesota State Patrol spokesman Sgt. Jesse Grabow says there were 21 crashes, and 48 vehicles – including many semis – went off the road Sunday.

The Associated Press reports I-94 from Alexandria to Moorhead, Highway 10 from Moorhead to Detroit Lakes, and Highway 210 from Breckenridge to Fergus Falls also reopened Monday.

In the Twin Cities, patches of black ice sent several cars spinning into ditches during the Monday morning rush hour, the Star Tribune reports. Frigid cold and snow also delayed the NorthStar Commuter rail and the Blue Line light rail service, according to the newspaper.

MnDOT is advising drivers to slow down.

Here's a map of driving conditions across the state just before 11 a.m. Monday. Note: Blue represents fair driving conditions while purple designates difficult conditions.

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