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Heavy snow makes it a not-so-rush hour across parts of Minn.

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Heavy snow makes it a not-so-rush hour across parts of Minn.
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota State Patrol closed southbound Interstate 35 near Forest Lake, Minn., this morning as up to 30 cars spun out or were involved in crashes during a heavy snow that made the rush hour more of a slow hour for Twin Cities commuters.


Tough road conditions extended well beyond the Twin Cities. The Minnesota Department of Transportation reported that most roads east and south of St. Cloud featured difficult driving conditions. But even in the far southeast, eastbound Interstate 90 on the South Dakota border was closed due to a jackknifed truck.

Roads in much of extreme northern Minnesota remained in good condition, MnDOT reported, but in the rest of the state roads offered fair to difficult travel.

The snow was heaviest from the Twin Cities to the south, where 4 or more inches of snow had fallen in many places by 9 a.m. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning through noon and a wind chill advisory into Friday morning.

Accidents throughout the Twin Cities closed various parts of the freeway system, and entrance and exit ramps, throughout the morning. A bus was stuck on Interstate 94 just east of St. Paul.

A women went in labor stuck in traffic on one Twin Cities highway, An ambulance delivered her to the hospital, where the baby was delivered.

Rep. Mary Sawatzky, D-Willmar, tweeted that it took her an hour to drive 2.5 miles as she went to the state Capitol.

While stalled vehicles and crashes were reported all around the Twin Cities, the worst problem was around Forest Lake.

It occurred at about 8:45 a.m., normally the end of the morning rush. But the snow extended rush hour well beyond normal.

Snow began in central Minnesota at 3 a.m., and in the Twin Cities at 5 a.m. In places, snow fell at a rate of 2 inches an hour.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.