MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — As snow fell on the Twin Cities metro Tuesday morning, 150 crashes were reported, including one in the St. Cloud area that killed a mother of three from Maple Grove.
Holly Klein’s death was announced by Saint Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights in an email to the community.
Squad Car Hit
In a separate incident, a State Patrol squad was hit with the trooper pinned inside.
The incident involving the trooper happened following a crash around 9 a.m. on eastbound Interstate 494 and Concord Street in South St. Paul.
Lt. Tiffani Nielson of the State Patrol said the trooper was stopped on the shoulder to investigate the crash when his squad was struck. Two other cars and a tow truck were also hit.
Initially, the trooper was pinned inside his car, Nielson said. He was then extricated and taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul with non-life-threatening injuries.
I-94 Closes Near Clearwater
Authorities closed a slippery stretch of Interstate 94 in the northwest metro due to numerous accidents for part of Tuesday morning and afternoon. By about 1:15 a.m., though, the State Patrol said that I-94 had reopened between Clearwater and Hasty.
The State Patrol said the most serious involved a semi that hit a car whose driver had pulled over to change a tire. One person in the car was hurt. The Minnesota Department of Transportation is detouring traffic between Highway 24 and Wright County Road 8.
Crashes In The Twin Cities
March is, on average, the 3rd snowiest month in the Twin Cities, and though not uncommon, Tuesday’s winter white was an unwelcome sight for commuters.
In the metro, 150 crashes and 28 spinouts occurred by 3 p.m. Tuesday, the state patrol said.
In those crashes, 18 people suffered injuries. None were killed.
An over-turned semi slowed traffic on I-35E, but for others the commute wasn’t too abominable.
“I left early enough so it was actually pretty okay,” Taylor Davis said. “It only took me a half hour from St. Paul.”
While most took the snow in stride, the thought of spring was not far from mind.
“I’m definitely looking forward to warm weather,” Lisa Vargas said. “I’m looking forward to the lake, and I’m looking forward to the sunshine, and getting things warmed up a little bit.”
The most dangerous time on the roads was between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Officials are urging drivers to take it slow as snow continues to fall.
Crashes Through The State
Statewide, there were 278 crashes and 121 spinouts by 3 p.m.
The busiest time for the state patrol was between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
Blizzard Warnings Lifted
The storm dropped up to 6.5 inches of snow in western Minnesota, while far eastern South Dakota got 3 inches. But blizzard warnings for Minnesota and South Dakota were lifted.
Meteorologist Jim Taggart with the National Weather Service in Chanhassen, Minnesota, said the state has seen about half its usual snowfall this season. Forecasts call for high temperatures above freezing this weekend and into next week.