Snow causes hundreds of accidents; 1 dead

Getting a car out of the ditch
John Schneider pulled a car out of the ditch along Highway 60 near Madison Lake, Minn.
Jackson Forderer for MPR News

Updated: 5:51 p.m. | Posted: 7:26 a.m.

A band of snow moved east across the state on Tuesday morning, snarling traffic and causing blizzard-like conditions in west and south central Minnesota.

Vehicle crashes and spin outs were reported across the state throughout the morning.

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One person died in an accident involving multiple vehicles on Interstate 94 near Clearwater in Wright County at about 9:27 a.m., the State Patrol reported.

I-94 was closed for several hours, but was reopened by 1:15 p.m.

Patrol officials also reported one of their squads was hit on Interstate 494. The trooper was taken to Regions Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Snow-blown Hwy. 14 near Mankato.
A stretch of Highway 14 between Mankato and Nicollet on Tuesday afternoon. Sgt. Dan Anderson of the State Highway Patrol said most roads weren't as bad as predicted, but that drivers might still encounter icy patches 300-400 yards long that could cause trouble.
Jackson Forderer for MPR News

Troopers reported a total of nearly 300 crashes statewide, with 150 of those in the metro area, between midnight and 3 p.m. There were 18 accidents involving injuries in the metro area and 21 spin outs.

The National Weather Service posted a blizzard warning for areas in Minnesota along and west of a line from Glenwood to Hutchinson, Owatonna and Albert Lea Tuesday. The strong wind caused considerable blowing and drifting of about 3 to 5 inches of snow.

A winter weather advisory covered much of the state on Tuesday morning as a band of snow moved from eastern South Dakota through central Minnesota.

Clearing the Basilica steps
Nate Krueger, who just moved to Minneapolis four weeks ago from Omaha, shoveled snow outside the front entrance to the Basilica.
Jennifer Simonson | MPR News

The service predicted snow possible until about 2 p.m., with accumulation of between 1 and 3 inches in the Twin Cities.

Temperatures in the Twin Cities are expected to dip below zero on Tuesday night, with wind chills as low as below 20 degrees.

Cold temperatures will stick around on Tuesday, but could rise into the 30s by the weekend.

In Hennepin County, the Sheriff's Office issued a warning following the start of Tuesday's snowfall, which can give thin ice the appearance of safety.

At least 10 vehicles have broken through ice on Hennepin County lakes this winter.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.