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Late Winter Storm Closes Highways In W. Minn.

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DETROIT LAKES, Minn. (AP/WCCO) — Heavy snow and strong winds are creating hazardous travel conditions in west central Minnesota.

Since 6 a.m. Monday, there have been 176 crashes statewide — 10 of those including injury — and 117 vehicles off the road or spin-outs, according to the State Patrol.

The State Patrol and the Department of Transportation have closed four roadways. They include Interstate 94 from Moorhead to Alexandria, Highway 10 from Moorhead to Audubon, Highway 210 from Breckenridge to Fergus Falls, and Highway 2 from East Grand Forks to Crookston. The State Patrol reminds motorists that drivers can be fined up to $1,000 and sentenced to 90 days in jail for traveling on a road that’s closed.

The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for western Minnesota with the worst weather across the Minnesota River Valley. Up to 5 inches of snow with wind gusts of near 50 mph is expected to create whiteout conditions. Moderate snow is expected to make the commute challenging in the Twin Cities Monday morning.

Metro Transit officials said Monday morning that 56 percent of buses are on time and the average delay is about eight minutes. All light rail transit trains are on time.

So far, Mendota Heights and Hastings have declared snow emergencies.

Meteorologist Mike Augustyniak said this marks the sixth Monday in the last eight that we’ve seen snow.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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