October 27, 2017 05:27 PM
The Minnesota State Patrol reported the first snowstorm of the season caused 160 crashes across the state between midnight and 4 p.m. Friday, along with 149 spinouts.
A total of 160 crashes had been reported statewide with 22 injuries, including two fatal crashes in the Duluth and Brainerd area.
#MSPNumbers STATEWIDE 10/27 12:01am to 4:20pm. 160 crashes (22 with injuries, 2 fatal crashes-Duluth and Brained area) + 149 Veh Spin out.— State Patrol PIO (@MSPPIO) October 27, 2017
Sgt. Neil Dickenson of the State Patrol said the driver of a semi was killed when he lost control of his vehicle around 4:41 a.m. Friday on Interstate 35, sending it crashing over a guard rail and into the St. Louis River. A search ensued.
The driver was not in the vehicle when it was recovered from the water, but his body was able to be located.
Snowfall in the Twin Cities metro area Friday morning had amounted to a coating on the grass in some places - if that.
But many in northern Minnesota saw substantial amounts overnight.
In Duluth, the National Weather Service reported 5 inches by Friday morning, a record amount for Oct. 27. It broke the old mark of 4.3 inches set in 2010.
The city of Duluth advised the public areas of Canal Park were inaccessible due to windy conditions and high waves causing flooding in some areas. That included segments of Canal Park and Harbor Drive, which were dealing with standing water.
Meanwhile, on the Iron Range, Chisholm reported 8.3 inches of snow.
Dickenson said there have been no other reports of serious injuries. But law enforcement has been dealing with numerous crashes in the region.
"It's been non-stop," he said.
Other snow totals being reported around the region Friday morning:
Multiple power outages were reported in the Duluth area Friday morning. Amy Rutledge of Minnesota Power said as of 10:45 a.m., about 1,400 people were without power in the Duluth-Superior area.
That was down from around 6,000 people earlier in the region, including a large outage in Hibbing and Chisholm that impacted around 2,500 customers. Power to those customers has since been restored.
"We're dealing with some high winds and that's led to some situations with wires down and some trees on lines," said Rutledge, who cautioned anyone who sees a downed power line to call the proper authorities and not go near it themselves.
Hubbard-owned WDIO in Duluth reported northbound U.S. Highway 53 was one of many places with traffic moving at only a few miles per hour. Numerous vehicles that could not make it up the hill, including several semis, were stuck on either side of the road.
Numerous vehicles also spun out on I-35 west and south of Duluth. There were also several semis stuck on the southbound lanes of I-35 on the hill in West Duluth. In Wisconsin, weather conditions led to the closure of U.S. Highway 2 and State Highway 13 in the City of Ashland.
The Duluth Transit Authority switched to mainline-only bus service, meaning buses were running only along Grand Avenue in West Duluth and East Superior Street in East Duluth. Icy conditions were preventing busses from traveling up the hill.
Minnesota-Duluth was scheduled to close at 2 p.m. Friday.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation reported that most major highways in northeastern Minnesota were covered with snow.
Meanwhile, in the metro area, the blustery weather did force organizers of Anoka's Halloween celebration to cancel the Big Parade of Little People scheduled for Friday afternoon.
The parade was scheduled to feature local school children marching in their Halloween costumes.
KSTP and WDIO
Updated: October 27, 2017 05:27 PM
Created: October 27, 2017 10:32 AM
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