By Bill Hudson

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Wednesday’s light snowfall caused more than gridlock on metro area roads and freeways. According to the State Patrol, it also led to more than 500 crashes and spinouts statewide.

But it wasn’t over, because more snow overnight caused even more trouble for morning commuters, turning Wednesday into a day for cleanup and commiseration.

There one major closure as a consequence of the snow — Northbound 35W in Richfield was closed around 5:20 a.m. due to a jackknifed semi. The roadway reopened around 6:10 a.m., but the left remains closed, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.

WCCO’s Ali Lucia said there was also a crash on I-94 in Rogers shortly before 7:30 a.m. causing backups.

According to the State Patrol, there were over 120 crashes statewide with nine injuries from 9:45 p.m. Wednesday through 9:45 a.m. Thursday. The state patrol says there were over 400 crashes on Wednesday.

At least one crash in the Twin Cities was fatal; a 23-year-old Lakeville woman died in a crash along County Road 50 Wednesday afternoon. The crash also involved another vehicle driven by a 40-year-old woman with her 11-year-old son as a passenger. Both suffered minor injuries.

The snowfall overnight got the MnDOT salt treatment. Spots that were slick and gridlocked Wednesday evening are now mostly wet and sloppy.

Despite the improved driving conditions, accidents continue to keep the patrol and first responders busy. Drivers are urging both courtesy and caution.

After another blanket overnight, cleanup is well underway. Though side streets remain dicey, comes a reminder to clear sidewalks in front of homes. Minneapolis City Council president Lisa Bender was hit with seven complaints, costing her $149.

According to meteorologist Matt Brickman, this was the biggest snowstorm the metro has seen this year.

More snow is expected this weekend in southern Minnesota.

Bill Hudson

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