Plows are out, but roads still covered with snow, ice for a.m. commute


The strong winter storm that brought blizzard conditions to much of southern Minnesota is winding down, but roads across the region are still covered in snow for the morning commute.

A few scattered snow showers are expected early, but blowing and drifting snow will be the main concern in southern Minnesota Wednesday, mainly during the morning, the National Weather Service says.

Here's the latest on the commute:

11 a.m. – Hundreds of crashes reported

From 10 a.m. Tuesday through Wednesday at 10 a.m., there were 475 vehicles off the road, 449 crashes that caused damage and 39 incidents that caused injury, according to the State Patrol.

9:30 a.m. – Roads open in SW Minnesota

Roads in south-central and southwestern Minnesota are open, but they're still covered in snow.

8:50 a.m. – Travel ban lifted for some

The Minnesota Department of Transportation has listed its no travel advisory for a handful of southwestern counties including: Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Pipestone, Redwood and Renville.

7:30 a.m.

Roads are still partially covered with snow in the Twin Cities (blue on the map below), while roads in southeastern Minnesota are completely covered (pink on the map) and in south-central and southwestern Minnesota roads remain closed (those red do-not-enter looking signs on the map).

Check the latest road conditions on MnDOT's website here.

There are also delays on Metro Transit.

6:30 a.m. – Slow traffic, crashes reported

Several crashes and spinouts have been reported, according to MnDOT's website. Incidents, along with slippery roads and blowing snow is really slowing down traffic in the Twin Cities, KARE 11's Alicia Lewis tweeted.

6 a.m. – 'Dangerous' driving, school delays

Visibility has improved on many roads in far southern Minnesota, but "nearly all roads are ice covered, which creates dangerous driving conditions," the Freeborn County Sheriff's Office said in an email news release early Wednesday.

The county has lifted its vehicular travel ban, but notes Interstate 90 is still closed from Interstate 35 to South Dakota. Some other roadways also remain closed. Check the latest road conditions before you head out the door on MnDOT's website here.

Many schools are also either starting late or are closed Wednesday and dozens of cities have snow emergencies and parking bans in place. KSTP has a list of both on its website.

Most weather alerts have been canceled. A winter weather advisory is in effect until noon for south-central Minnesota.

How much snow did we get?

It turns out, the Groundhog Day snowstorm was record-setting in the Twin Cities, which picked over 9.2 inches of snow by the time the storm moved out, the National Weather Service says.

Snowfall totals varied across the region, here's a look at how much some communities got, according to the National Weather Service's 6 a.m. update:

  • Luverne: 12 inches.
  • St. Louis Park: 11 inches.
  • Chanhassen: 10.3 inches.
  • Richfield: 9.2 inches.
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport: 9.2 inches.
  • Rochester: 6.7 inches.
  • New Ulm: 4.8 inches.
  • Kimball: 3 inches.
  • St. Cloud: 0.8 inches.

You can also check out this snowfall totals map for a look at how much other areas got.

Key points from the storm

  • The storm caused long delays and cancelations at both the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and Rochester International Airport. The flight-tracking website FlightAware shows there were 231 delays and 277 cancellations at MSP on Tuesday.
  • A woman was fatally struck by a vehicle Tuesday at 4:45 p.m. near 8th Street and Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis, police say. Witnesses told WCCO the person was walking in the intersection when a vehicle approached the lights, but was unable to stop.
  • In its final update of the evening Tuesday, the Minnesota State Patrol said there were 370 crashes reported statewide since 6 a.m. Another 309 vehicles spun out or slid off roads. The crashes caused 36 injuries, two of them serious.
  • State officials urged no travel until conditions improved, and even closed some roads in far southern Minnesota due to blizzard conditions.

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