Travel gets treacherous on Minnesota's roads as winter storm plows through


Tuesday's winter storm was a little late to arrive, but it packed a punch when it finally rolled in, making travel treacherous in many areas of the state and prompting officials to close some roads.

Interstate 94 between Clearwater and the Hasty exit was closed for nearly four hours Tuesday after a number of crashes, one involving a semi truck, were reported, Lt. Tiffani Nielson of the state patrol tweeted. It reopened just after 1 p.m.

Emergency crews responded to several other incidents, including vehicles off the road, cars that hit signs, and other crashes, during the tail-end of the morning commute.

As of 10:30 a.m., the St. Cloud area saw 31 crashes, which led to four non-life-threatening injuries, and 17 vehicles off the road that required a tow, Sgt. Jesse Grabow tweeted.

Southeastern Minnesota, which dealt with freezing drizzle Tuesday morning, also saw some traffic troubles. A live electrical wire went down on Highway 14 east of Claremont, which stopped traffic in the area, the Minnesota Department of Transportation tweeted.

By 10 a.m. Tuesday, nearly every major roadway in the state was partially or completely covered in snow and/or ice, according to MnDOT. (Click here for snow totals throughout the state.)

Although the snow is expected to taper off midday Tuesday, travel could worsen.

Strong winds and blizzard conditions are expected to develop in west central and south central Minnesota, which will likely cause blowing and drifting snow, reducing visibility to less than a quarter-mile, the National Weather Service notes.

A blizzard warning is in effect until 9 p.m. across an area from Morris and Marshall to Willmar, Mankato and Albert Lea, where 25-35 mph winds are expected, with gusts as high as 45 mph likely.

A winter weather advisory is also in effect across the rest of central and eastern Minnesota through the evening.

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