Heavy snow gridlocks Twin Cities morning commute
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota State Patrol closed southbound Interstate 35 near Forest Lake, Minn., this morning as up to 30 cars spun out or were involved in crashes during a heavy snow that made the rush hour more of a slow hour for Twin Cities commuters.
Tough road conditions extended well beyond the Twin Cities. The Minnesota Department of Transportation reported that most roads east and south of St. Cloud featured difficult driving conditions. But even in the far southeast, eastbound Interstate 90 on the South Dakota border was closed due to a jackknifed truck.
Roads in much of extreme northern Minnesota remained in good condition, MnDOT reported, but in the rest of the state roads offered fair to difficult travel.
The snow was heaviest from the Twin Cities to the south, where 4 or more inches of snow had fallen in many places by 9 a.m. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning through noon and a wind chill advisory into Friday morning.
Accidents throughout the Twin Cities closed various parts of the freeway system, and entrance and exit ramps, throughout the morning. A bus was stuck on Interstate 94 just east of St. Paul.
A women went in labor stuck in traffic on one Twin Cities highway, An ambulance delivered her to the hospital, where the baby was delivered.
Highway 61 was backed up in south Washington County, but Cottage Grove police did not report an unusual number of accidents requiring law enforcement or medical assistance.While stalled vehicles and crashes were reported all around the Twin Cities, the worst problem was around Forest Lake.
It occurred at about 8:45 a.m., normally the end of the morning rush. But the snow extended rush hour well beyond normal.
Snow began in central Minnesota at 3 a.m., and in the Twin Cities at 5 a.m. In places, snow fell at a rate of 2 inches an hour.