MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Wild weather conditions, including rain, snow, dangerous winds and even possible tornadoes, have caused issues on Minnesota roads.
The Minnesota State Patrol said there were 121 crashes statewide between 6 a.m. Wednesday and 6 a.m. Thursday. One crash was fatal and there were 16 crashes with injuries.
Eighty-one vehicles went off the road or spun out and several semis jackknifed, the patrol said.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation was concerned about rain-soaked roads icing over Thursday morning.
“We’ve been out there since about midnight really watching conditions as they change once the rain stopped,” Anne Meyer with MnDOT said. “The wind actually worked in our favor, it helped to dry out some of the roads after the rain came.”
Road conditions stayed mostly clear in the metro, but MnDOT’s map showed roads completely covered in southwestern Minnesota.
“Certainly out west and some other areas are dealing with some slick spots, so even though it says green, it doesn’t mean go as fast as you can,” Meyer said. “Be aware that there could be some slick spots, especially in those areas like ramps, overpasses and bridges that tend to have colder road temps and have the impacts of freezing temperatures a little bit quicker than other areas of the highway.”
As snow showers move into the Twin Cities Thursday morning, reduced visibility could be a concern for those with a later morning commute.
Wednesday’s rare winter thunderstorm possibly whipped up two December tornadoes, an unprecedented event in recorded state history. The National Weather Service will send teams out Thursday to determine whether damage was really caused by tornadoes or just straight line winds.