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Storm-Stranded I-94 Truckers On The Road Again

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(credit: CBS) Heather Brown
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -The Minnesota State Patrol says more than 100 cars and trucks went in to the ditches along highways in central Minnesota since Sunday afternoon.

Several semi trucks had been sitting idle for two to three days at a truck stop in Alexandria. Bob Thirion first thought he might be able to out-drive the storm.

“It was sneaky,” Tririon said. “It came around the plains of Canada and got ahead of us.”

He got his truck off I-94 Sunday morning even before it was officially shut down.

“The cars were going a lot faster than we are and that’s always a prescription for disaster, so we just let them have it,” Thirion said.

Harold Stinnett was on his way to South Dakota Friday when he got word that parts of I-94 would be shut down.

“I came in to eat and then they closed it up,” Stinnett said.

Schools were closed across central Minnesota Monday. Snow piled high into medians, and people were doing their best to make paths to the road.

More than a foot of snow is still a lot for even those with plenty of winter-driving experience. The ride to work that usually takes two minutes was closer to three hours Monday morning.

But it’s nothing new for truckers who do the Montana to Wisconsin route. In fact, some of them didn’t mind a little extra time on their hands.

“Watching television. Sleeping. What? You can’t see all the beauty?” laughed Thirion.

The State Patrol tells WCCO that they didn’t see many serious accidents, but mostly people getting stuck in ditches. Their biggest issue was preventing people from trying to go around barricades of closed roads.

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