As a winter storm descends on the northern half of the state, public safety officials are warning motorists to avoid unnecessary travel and drive slowly if they need to make Tuesday's commute.
The National Weather Service issued a winter weather warning for much of the northern half of the state starting on Monday evening. The agency predicts several rounds of snowfall in the area through at least Wednesday followed by very cold temperatures. Between 10 and 15 inches of snow could accumulate in the area that includes St. Cloud and everything north.
The Twin Cities and parts of central Minnesota are covered by a winter storm watch. The National Weather Service warned that the Metropolitan area could accumulate up to six inches of snow between Tuesday and Thursday.
The Minnesota State Patrol's Sgt. Jesse Grabow said ice and snow in northern and central Minnesota on Monday already led to more than 50 accidents on the stretch of Interstate 94 between St. Cloud and Moorhead from the morning commute to evening commute.
One person, not yet identified, died in an accident on I-94 near St. Cloud.
A Deerwood, Minn. woman died after losing control of her car on icy Highway 210 in Aitkin County. The State Patrol identified the victim as Vera L. Hunt, 82. The State Patrol said Hunt's car slid into oncoming traffic where she was broadsided by a sedan. Information is not yet available on the occupants of the other car.
In northeast Minnesota, the Duluth Police Department reported they were called to over 30 accidents Monday due to slippery road conditions. Grabow said drivers should go slower than usual, wear seatbelts and keep their headlights on.
"If you need to make your commute, just make sure that you allow for a little more time for travel," Grabow said. "The main thing is don't put your personal schedule over safety."