A slow-moving storm has dumped snow on partsÂ of the Midwest, blanketing the Twin Cities, making roads treacherous orÂ impassable, and leading to at least one fatal crash.
The Twin Cities experienced at least 16Â inches of snow Sunday – its heaviest snowfall in two years – leading to theÂ cancellation of dozens of flights at Minneapolis-St. Paul International AirportÂ and caused hundreds of road accidents around the state.
Blizzard conditions, blowing and driftingÂ snow made visibility so poor that the state Department of Transportation pulledÂ snowplows off some highways in southwest and west Minnesota on SundayÂ afternoon.
The Minnesota State Patrol reported more thanÂ 600 crashes by Monday morning, and at least 1,140 spinouts, according to Lt.Â Eric Roeske, and driving conditions remained hazardous.
One person was killed in a crash involving aÂ semi near Red Wing and injuries were reported in 63 other accidents, the patrolÂ said.
A large contingent of snowplows worked toÂ clear highways, ramps and bridges in time for the Monday morning commute in theÂ Twin Cities.
Other road accidents were reported in westernÂ Wisconsin including a jackknifed semi that closed a westbound lane of InterstateÂ 94 near Menomonie, Wisconsin, about 2 a.m. Monday.
The storm also dumped more than a foot ofÂ snow on South Dakota at the weekend, forcing the closure of severalÂ interstates.
The National Weather Service issued a winterÂ storm warning for the far northwest of Wisconsin on Monday, with snowÂ accumulations of up to 9 inches expected through noon.
The skies were overcast in the Twin CitiesÂ early Monday, but no watches or warnings were in effect.
The Twin Cities’ heaviest snowfall lastÂ winter was 4.2 inches on December 3, and it received 16.3 inches on December 11,Â 2010.
That last storm caused the Metrodome toÂ collapse, forcing the Vikings to play the final two games of the seasonÂ elsewhere. The project to restore the inflatable roof cost $22.7 million, andÂ officials there weren’t taking chances of a repeat Sunday.
Steve Maki, director of facilities for theÂ Metropolitan Sports Facilities Authority, said they cranked up the heat afterÂ Sunday’s Vikings-Bears game and planned to keep it that way until the stormÂ passed.
Some school districts in Minnesota, WisconsinÂ and South Dakota canceled or delayed classes on Monday morning.
Around 150 flights at Minneapolis-St. PaulÂ International Airport were canceled Sunday due to the storm, airport spokesmanÂ Pat Hogan said.
Flights were operating on time by MondayÂ morning, according to the airport’s website.
Source: The Daily Mail