Motorists faced slippery, snow-covered roads Saturday, complicated by snarled traffic in the Twin Cities due to Super Bowl-related activities and road closures in and around U.S. Bank Stadium.
And while snow is not forecast for Sunday, temperatures are expected to plummet to below zero prompting officials to remind out-of-towners and locals alike to bundle up if they are heading out to the Super Bowl at U.S. Bank Stadium or surrounding festivities.
The National Weather Service said the Twin Cities saw between two to three inches of snow Saturday, causing hundreds of crashes with more than 30 injuries.
The Minnesota State Patrol recorded 407 crashes and 229 spin-outs with two jackknifed semi-tractor trailers.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation reported more plows were out Saturday than have been deployed in several years.
Transportation spokesman Kevin Gutknecht said more than 200 plows were working to clear roads and put down salt in the Twin Cities metro area.
"This is like any snowstorm, it doesn't matter if the Super Bowl is here or not," he said. "It's a snowstorm, there's snow on the road, so you need to slow down."
Gutknecht said roads near downtown Minneapolis and the Mall of America in Bloomington were busier than usual with Super Bowl traffic.
Specialized crews clear streets
City of Minneapolis public works director Robin Hutcheson said the city was working to clear the snow quickly. She said the city deployed 39 pieces of equipment to treat and plow streets.
"We have specialized equipment and crews, throughout the downtown. And we'll be ramping up the efforts to clear the corners of our sidewalks, to ease mobility, especially for the many, many pedestrians that we have moving through our downtown,'' she said.
Saturday's snowstorm began early in the day but tapered off by early evening.
Gutknecht said state plows would be out all night and transportation officials expect the roads to be clear by Sunday morning.
Much of state under wind chill advisory Sunday
The National Weather Service issued a wind chill advisory for most of Minnesota through noon Sunday. Wind chills were expected to be in the -15 to -30 range, with some even dropping to -40 in the northwest parts of the state.
The advisory includes all of the Twin Cities metro area.