MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — No, your eyes do not deceive you. That’s still winter waiting for you outside Wednesday, though the calendar insists it’s spring.
The Morning Commute
The overnight sleet and snow mix in the Twin Cities made for a treacherous morning commute, and a number of Twin Cities schools reported late starts or cancellations outright.
There was an accident along Interstate 94 involving a jackknifed semi truck that shut the westbound lanes down for a short time between Highway 52 and Highway 61.
The Minnesota State Patrol reported that, between 5 a.m. and 6 p.m. Wednesday, there were 377 crashes statewide, 265 of which happened in the Twin Cities metro area. There were also 499 spinouts, with 316 of them in the metro.
Fifty-three crashes, most in the metro, involved injuries, with one listed as serious.
WCCO-TV’s Kerry McNally Reports
MSP International is seeing between one-to-two-hour delays on arrivals and departures.
Officials said there have been at least 50 flights canceled and nearly 90 delays. They recommend that travelers call ahead to check on the status of their flight.
The Metropolitan Airports Commission said the wind is blowing perpendicular to the runways, making it difficult for some planes to land.
When Will It End?
Meteorologist Chris Shaffer said the Twin Cities received anywhere from 2 to 6 inches of snow, with unofficial snow totals of 4.4 inches at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
The north side of the state saw the heaviest totals, with unofficial reports of as much as 11 inches in Mille Lacs County. The snow finally stopped Wednesday afternoon in the Twin Cities and should be done completely by Wednesday night across the state.
Conditions were certainly the worst outside the Twin Cities. Central Minnesota is under a winter storm warning and WCCO-TV’s Bill Hudson said North Branch, which is in Chisago County, got about a foot of snow.
WCCO-TV’s Bill Hudson Reports
Alexandria Digs Out From Storm
Travel definitely gets tough the further north you go from the Twin Cities, with wet snow packed on the highway making conditions slippery.
In Alexandria, a dangerous stretch of Interstate 94 sent dozens of cars off the road overnight. Drivers faced frightening moments when falling ice turned to heavy snow and strong winds brought white out conditions across central Minnesota.
State Troopers say the biggest hazards are on the side streets where large snow drifts are blowing across the roadways, deceiving drivers.
“This is what I like to refer to as March Madness, and I am not talking about basketball. I am talking about Minnesota weather here on the roadways,” said Sgt. Jesse Grabow with the Detroit Lakes District. “We have had our share of blizzards this winter, and this is probably up there with some of the worst, with packed snow and ice.”
Students all over the region had a snow day, and people in Alexandria spent the day digging out.
“It’s been slippery all over, in fact, I even fell twice,” said Dean Affeldt, of Alexandria. “I am not complaining, I tell ya, because we could have what Japan’s got, so smile and enjoy the snow out here.”
WCCO-TV’s Lindsey Seavert Reports
Seriously, Enough With Winter
While the snow has certainly taken a toll on the roads, it seems it’s also taken a toll on Minnesotans. There were plenty of people digging out, getting stuck and just plain over it all.
Nikia Gustafson, of Minneapolis, said she’s ready for spring.
“I really am, and then to see this again, it’s disappointing, ’cause I’m ready for summer,” she said. “I’m ready for summer clothes. It’s like nope, I had to pull the boots out this morning, ’cause I’d already packed them away.”
Dave Wilson, of Minneapolis, said you know we’ve had too much snow when even the kids are complaining.
“My son sounded like an old man. He’s only 6 years old and he was complaining abot the snow,” he said. “So when a 6-year-old is complaining about the snow, you know we’ve had a long winter.”
At least one kid wasn’t complaining — 10-year-old Keegan Hoffer was sledding in southwest Minneapolis.
“I’m gonna enjoy it while it lasts,” he said.