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By the early afternoon Sunday, roads in west central Minnesota are showing signs of poor driving conditions with blowing snow and icy pavement. Tribune photo by Ron Adams

Drivers 'being smart' about storm

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local Willmar,Minnesota 56201 http://www.wctrib.com/sites/default/files/styles/square_300/public/fieldimages/1/1130/20081215121408snowroads04.jpg?itok=iaUal8Pp
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Drivers 'being smart' about storm
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

Snow, ice, frigid temperatures and horrid wind chills combined to make Sunday a good day to stay home in most of Minnesota.

In a check of area counties, it appears most people did just that in west central Minnesota.

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The Minnesota Department of Transportation advised no travel in Chippewa, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Swift, Pope and Yellow Medicine counties. Other area counties had travel advisories in effect.

Sheriff's dispatchers in the area said their counties had not received many weather-related calls, even with the slippery roads and limited visibility. Several dispatchers used the same phrase to describe the situation -- their residents were "being smart and staying home."

By Sunday evening, temperatures were in single digits and the wind chill was about 35 below in Willmar and 40 below or colder in areas further north and west. More snow fell north and west of the Willmar area, too.

Today isn't expected to be a lot better.

Expect the temperature to stay below zero all day, said Byron Paulson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Temperatures were likely to drop through the night on Sunday and more snow was expected to fall during the night.

"You may not be able to find it, with the way the wind's blowing," Paulson said.

Winds were expected to stay strong, at least through this morning, he said.

Much of the worst weather was across northern Minnesota. Paulson said Duluth had received about 10 inches of snow, which was whipped around by 40 mph winds off Lake Superior.

Authorities closed Interstate 94 from Jamestown, N.D., to Alexandria.

In Fargo, the Cass County sheriff's office said visibility was down to zero with heavy drifting on the roads.

In Minnesota, Highway 10 was closed between Moorhead and Detroit Lakes, and Highway 210 was closed between Breckenridge and Fergus Falls.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation reported difficult driving conditions across most of the state as a winter storm moves through the region.

Minnesota road information is available on the Internet at http://www.511mn.org.

The Associated Press contributed to the story.

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