DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — It’s the snowstorm that just keeps on giving.
The unrelenting storm has spread about 2 feet of snow in northeastern Minnesota continued for a third day Wednesday. The heavy snow and ice has contributed to hundreds of traffic accidents around Minnesota and was cited by authorities in at least five fatal crashes since Monday.
The latest victim was a 16-year-old high school student who police say apparently lost control of her car on a slushy road, slid sideways and collided with a sport utility vehicle Wednesday in Lakeville.
The snow storm closed the University of Minnesota Duluth and most other schools in the area and even shut down the Bentleyville holiday lights display in Duluth.
A National Weather Service observer reported 33 inches of snow northwest of Two Harbors on Wednesday. Duluth was buried under at least 18 inches of snow. Much of the region will see another 8 to 12 inches Wednesday, forecasters said, and by the time the winter storm warning ends Thursday morning, snowfall totals could approach 3 feet in some areas.
In central Minnesota, 9.2 inches of snow fell seven miles south of Hillman. Other reports include 7 inches in Glencoe and Monticello and 6.9 inches in Waconia. The National Weather Service in Chanhassen received 6 inches, while 4.1 inches of snow was measured at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
“We don’t get three-day snowfalls very often . every few years. Even for the North Shore and Duluth, for a storm to hit 30 inches, that’s pretty unusual,” said Carol Christenson, National Weather Service meteorologist in Duluth. “For us to even forecast snow totals like this, it goes against the averages.”
Kelly Fleissner, who leads Duluth’s snowplowing efforts for more than 400 miles of city streets, said city crews worked 16-hour shifts during the height of the storm Monday night and Tuesday. He said they will be out in full force again Wednesday.
“We had so much snow that we had to stay on the main roads all night into Tuesday morning. So we were late getting into the residential streets. I know it’s been tough for people just to get out of their neighborhoods. But please, be patient,” Fleissner told the Duluth News Tribune.
Bitter cold moves into the state Thursday, with temperatures expected to barely make it to zero in northern Minnesota.
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