Powerful Upper Midwest storm winding down, but still creating travel woes

A United Airlines plane is deiced before taking off from Denver International Airport Wednesday, April 10, 2019, in Denver. Photo: AP/ David Zalubowski
A United Airlines plane is deiced before taking off from Denver International Airport Wednesday, April 10, 2019, in Denver.

April 12, 2019 01:59 PM

Blizzard conditions that have made travel treacherous and closed interstates and schools in the Upper Midwest were expected to wind down leaving unseasonably cold temperatures through the weekend.

Strong winds and additional snow were expected to create blizzard conditions from eastern South Dakota into southeastern North Dakota and western Minnesota Friday before the powerful storm system moves north to Canada and weakens.


South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem closed government offices in most of the state's 66 counties for a third day Friday and ordered others to open in the afternoon.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz declared a state of emergency in 64 counties and three tribal nations, authorizing the National Guard to provide emergency aid to those dealing with the storm or flooding, including residents in Oslo where the Red River continued to rise.

The Minnesota National Guard said 113 soldiers were activated from the 224th Transportation Company in Austin Thursday evening and worked throughout the night providing traffic control with police while workers performed restoration work on power lines.

A total of 20 soldiers were manning five control points in Mower County, while the remaining personnel were on standby. A total of 45 vehicles from Olivia and Rochester were also being used in the storm response.

RELATED: Sleet, rain fall during final hours of state's winter storm warning

The armories in Owatonna and Albert Lea were also open for shelter Thursday night. A total of 14 people came in to use the facilities in Owatonna over a 12-hour period. Two people used the shelter for warmth overnight.

Steele Waseca Co-op Electric, which covers nine counties in the area, said Friday they were working to repair more than 200 downed power poles, and that 1,600 customers remained without power.

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The Associated Press

(Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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