By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Several inches of snow fell overnight in southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin, leading to many crashes and spinouts Wednesday morning in the southern and eastern parts of the metro.

The Minnesota State Patrol reported 180 crashes and 113 spinouts statewide Wednesday morning. That led to a slow commute for many people. If you drove in from the north or west, the drive was snow free.

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WCCO’s Kate Raddatz went to Blooming Prairie, where winter got an early start. As snow fell outside on the Main Street of this small Minnesota town, inside stores are welcoming the season’s change.

“I got out all the Christmas decorations today, and it’s been a lot of fun,” said Jackie Vorlicek, owner of Prairie Home Floral Décor and Gifts.

Customers were coming in to the hardware store to buy snow gear. They got more than 5 inches of snow in Blooming Prairie.

“It does [feel too early], and I think it did to everybody that came in here. They weren’t all happy coming in to get shovels and salt,” said Greg Johnson, manager of B To Z Hardware.

But snow isn’t good for all local business.

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“The crops. They’ll have to wait til the ground freezes now before they can probably get more out of the corn out, but they were going at it hard the last few days, there’s still a lot to get out,” said Mayor Curt Esplan.

City officials prepared by having plows ready to go overnight.

“I don’t mind the snow. It’s the cold I don’t like,” said Esplan.

It’s an early start to what could be a long winter of white.

“Last year, February 23, when we got hit with them 13 inches, that’s my birthday, and my birthday party got cancelled, so I said I’m moving my birthday to August 23 so I could have a real party,” said resident Sandra Basness. “You know, it is what it is,”

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If you’re hoping for a winter warm-up to melt this snow, it doesn’t appear to be anywhere in sight. Some parts of Minnesota could see record snow in the next year.

Kate Raddatz