Tough travel conditions as winter storm dies down
Travel conditions remained treacherous in many areas Thursday morning after the winter storm hammered the region Wednesday into Thursday. However, with the storm moving out of the area, conditions are starting to improve.
No-travel advisories for portions of state highways and Interstate 90 in southern Minnesota were lifted by the Minnesota Department of Transportation at noon, and a winter storm warning for the Twin Cities expired at noon.
Governor Tim Walz declared a peacetime emergency on Tuesday as the National Guard worked to prepare to help people through the storm.
Thursday, he thanked Guard members along with troopers and plow crews, saying troopers had responded to 3,182 calls over the past three days, along with dozens of crashes and spinouts.
“I am immensely grateful to the snowplow drivers, state troopers, first responders, and members of the Minnesota National Guard for working tirelessly to provide aid to Minnesotans and making sure our roads and highways are as safe as possible,” Walz in a statement. “I am proud of this coordinated effort to keep Minnesotans across the state safe. The state stands ready to provide further assistance as we continue to weather this storm together.”
RELATED: MSP airport cancels hundreds of flights due to winter storm | Metro Transit cancels number of rides
St. Paul declared back-to-back snow emergencies on Wednesday and Thursday while Minneapolis declared a three-day emergency, Wednesday through Friday.
RELATED: Snowfall totals: 19 inches in Apple Valley, over a foot in Twin Cities
Minnesota’s Weather Authority says much of the Twin Cities metro area ended up with 9-15 inches of snow, with a few isolated 18-inch totals.
RELATED: Minneapolis, St. Paul declare snow emergencies, residents hurry to get vehicles off streets
Thursday morning brought another 6 inches of fresh snow, which is creating messy morning driving conditions. The wind will fade from 35 mph to around 20 mph by this afternoon which will help the roads.
The Minnesota State Patrol reported 36 crashes — three of which resulted in injuries — across the state from 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to 7:30 a.m. Thursday, as well as 107 vehicle spinouts and a jackknifed semi. Over the next four hours, another 31 crashes — including three that resulted in injuries — as well as 52 spinouts and one other jackknifed semi were reported.
According to the Minneapolis police department, there were 36 crashes as of Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., three of which resulted in injury. Officials also reported one jackknifed semi truck and a vehicle spinout on Highway 107.
RELATED: Here’s how the Minnesota National Guard is preparing to help stranded drivers
Over 230 flights were called off by Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport by 9 a.m. Thursday, nearly a quarter of the total daily flights. Hundreds of flights were canceled early Wednesday morning and by 1 p.m., close to 400 had been canceled.
Related: Airlines start issuing travel waivers with winter storm looming