"MINNEAPOLIS – A powerful snowstorm socked the upper Midwest on Saturday with as much as 20 inches of snow, forcing authorities to close roads across five states as heavy winds made for treacherous driving conditions.
The snowstorm was expected to be followed by dangerous cold. North Dakota experienced wind chills of 20 degrees below zero, and the arctic air was expected to drop temperatures below zero by Sunday night throughout the Dakotas and in parts of Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Eastern Minnesota's Oakdale area got 20 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service. The storm was moving eastward, where it dumped about a foot of snow in Chippewa County in northwestern Wisconsin and was expected to drop 20 to 24 inches by Sunday morning in the Eau Claire area.
Lisa McGrath was shoveling her front walk in southeast Minneapolis, but knew she'd likely have to do it again in a few hours.
"It's good exercise — the only exercise I'm going to get today," McGrath said as she hoisted the shovel.
The State Patrol said there were 76 crashes reported statewide, but none with fatalities or serious injuries, and 319 reports of vehicles sliding off roads.
"The areas that were hardest hit are virtually impassable," said Minnesota State Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske. "So we don't expect those numbers to go up a whole lot."
With the snow and winds combining to make visibility difficult for drivers, Minnesota transportation officials closed the westbound portion of Interstate 90 near the South Dakota border, pulled plows off roads in the southern part of the state and told drivers to stay home.
The Twin Cities east metro area received 15 to 20 inches of snow and was expected to see another 1 to 3 inches before the storm tapered off there.
Heavy snow was falling in northern Iowa, where up to 10 inches was expected, and eastern South Dakota, where 5 to 8 inches was forecast. Portions of Interstates 29 and 76 were closed in Iowa and South Dakota because of blowing snow and related crashes.
The weather also postponed to Monday an NFL football game that had been set for Sunday between the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings. The Giants were stuck Saturday night in Kansas City, Mo., after their flight was diverted there with the Twin Cities airport closed because of the snowstorm.
Wisconsin authorities issued a statewide no-travel advisory, citing blizzard and winter storm warnings in nearly every county.
The weather was an unexpected burden for one Minnesota man who had pledged to camp out on the roof of a coffee shop to help his daughter's school raise money. Hospital executive Robert Stevens donned four layers of long underwear, heavy boots and a down coat before embarking on his quest Friday night.
He vowed not to come down until he had raised $100,000, but after reaching the halfway mark Saturday morning, he said he hoped the rest of the money would come fast. He didn't look forward to spending another night out in the blizzard.
"I think I've crossed the line into insanity," he said.
Stevens slept inside a tent surrounded by hay bales, swaddled in a double-insulated sleeping bag as he listened to the winds whip off Lake Minnetonka a block away.
There was a bustling lunch crowd Saturday in the Birchwood Cafe in Minneapolis. Collette Dennis, a baker there, was back inside after she and co-workers spent 20 futile minutes trying to free her parked car from a snowdrift. Dennis still hoped to figure out a way to get home to the suburb of Roseville, about 12 miles away — but she also was prepared to stay put.
The cafe had no cots, Dennis said, "but we have multiple bags of flour I could sleep on. And I guess at least I won't go hungry."
Associated Press writers Dirk Lammers in Sioux Falls, S.D., and Jeff Baenen in Plymouth, Minn., contributed to this report.
Pre-winter storm pounds Midwest
By The CNN Wire Staff
December 11, 2010 11:26 p.m. EST cnn.com "The Minneapolis Department of Transportation on Saturday night urged people not to travel around Minneapolis and St. Paul, according to a Twitter post by the Minnesota State Patrol.
By early Saturday evening, the state police reported 129 crashes statewide since midnight and at least 561 snow-related spinoffs -- most of them in the Twin Cities metro area.
"We're experiencing very heavy snowfall, [but] our plows are out and they holding their own," said Minnesota State Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske. "We're dealing with the problems as they occur. But it is tough getting around right now for everyone.".. Concerns w/ Dome Postpones Vikings-Giants to Monday Updated: 12/11/2010 11:45 PM
By: Chris Long
*see GoodnewsMinnesota.info Minnesota: Vikings Football
-Minn. Metrodome collapses in Midwest blizzard
By PATRICK CONDON , Associated Press
Last update: December 12, 2010 - 8:14 AM startribune.com "MINNEAPOLIS - A storm that spanned parts of eight states continued to dump heavy snow in the upper Midwest on Sunday, collapsing the Metrodome in Minneapolis and forcing numerous road closures.
The storm was moving eastward a day after it dumped 20 inches of snow in some places. A Sunday NFL football game between the New York Giants and the Minnesota Vikings had already been pushed to Monday because the Giants couldn't get to Minneapolis to play when the inflatable Metrodome collapsed Sunday. It's uncertain when that game will now be played....
-Metrodome Roof Collapses
December 12, 2010 8:10 AM minnesota.cbslocal.com "MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The weight of all the snow that fell Saturday has caused the roof of the Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis to collapse.
About half of the panels on the roof are down.
The Metrodome is operated by the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission. Its executive director, Bill Lester, said Sunday morning the damage is being assessed and the agency will issue a statement later. He says he has no details yet on what happened.
The Minnesota Vikings and the NFL are meeting now to try to determine what to do about the game against the New York Giants. The game, which was originally scheduled for Sunday at noon, had earlier been moved to Monday evening because of the snow....
Unbelievable video of Metrodome collapse from inside stadium
By Chris Chase sports.yahoo.com Sun Dec 12 11:53am EST "The Metrodome collapsed early Sunday morning after a blizzard dumped 17 inches of snow on Minneapolis. Because of the damage to the stadium, Monday's scheduled New York Giants-Minnesota Vikings game was moved to Detroit's Ford Field
Cameras were positioned inside the stadium and caught the collapse on tape. To call the video incredible would be an understatement. It looks like the beginning of Armageddon: ..
"..The roof over the Metrodome is inflatable, not hard. It's the same sort of bubble you see over swimming pools or tennis courts in the winter, making this collapse almost like a deflated balloon imploding onto the field..
Winter storm packs snow, sleet, wind across area
Snow covered backyard in Big Lake, December 11, 2010 kare11.com
By Sven Sundgaard "Snowfall amounts range from 12 to 20 inches across the metro with an official total of 16.5" at MSP Airport through 6:00 PM Saturday. Predictions of the winter storm caused a flurry as early as Friday of school closings and weekend event cancellations. Be sure to check kare11.com, as well as specific organization websites for the latest information....
"MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) ―
About 50 miles to the east of Owatonna, all 180 people were evacuated from the small town of Zumbro Falls.
Officials have switched the focus of Saturday's flood fight to Wabasha, Blue Earth and Watonwan counties.
The rivers and streams that brought sudden flooding to parts of southern Minnesota and southwest Wisconsin towns were slowly receding, bringing relief to communities hoping to escape an intense fall storm without widespread damage.
Minimal rain on Saturday after a mostly dry Friday raised hopes that hundreds of displaced homeowners could soon turn their attention to cleanup.
"We're in the waiting game now," said Kevin Chiarini, even as the overflowing Straight River's waters began moving away from a sandbag wall protecting homes in his neighborhood. "Just hoping Mother Nature is nice to us and this all goes away."
The Minnesota National Guard has 134 soldiers supporting flood efforts throughout southern Minnesota.
In Wabasha County, Hammond and Zumbro Falls continue to report heavy flooding. Residents have been evacuated from both cities as the Zumbro River continues to rise.
Zumbro Falls remains under water as all of its 180 residents were evacuated Friday as floodwaters covered the town's main intersection with more than 12 feet of water. Read more about the Zumbro Falls/Oronoco/Pine Island area.
In Blue Earth County, St. Clair is asking residents to avoid using water, including toilets and drains. High water on the LeSueur River is causing the sanitary sewer system to fail. Authorities are responding to the city's request for 50,000 additional sandbags.
In Watonwan County, crews in Madelia are sandbagging around four homes to protect them from the rising Watonwan river.
Meanwhile, the western Wisconsin town of Arcadia has faced down its latest flood scare. Most residents returned home by nightfall as the water levels dropped. Read more about the Arcadia area.
What's Next? Weather-Wise
Saturday could see spotty showers, but the system will be faster-moving and without as much moisture.
Sunday looks to be sunny and pleasant. It's possible the Twin Cities could stay dry through the work week and temperatures are expected to rise to the low 70s Monday through Wednesday.
So far, the rain total for September is 5.51 inches, which is 3.27 inches more than average. It makes it the 10th wettest September on record.
What's Next? Cleanup
Gov. Tim Pawlenty toured three of Minnesota's hardest-hit towns on Friday -- Truman, Pine Island and Owatonna, a town of about 24,000 about 65 miles south of Minneapolis. Pawlenty pledged to work with legislative leaders for a possible special session to approve money for the flood damage.
"These communities may be physically damaged, but their spirit is strong," Pawlenty said.
South Metro Bracing For Flooding
The floodwaters should start to recede in some areas Friday night, but other rivers and waterways are expected to rise in the next few days. South metro cities in the areas of Savage, Shakopee, Jordan and Henderson could see new flooding this weekend because the Minnesota River is expected to rise as much as 16 feet between Friday and Tuesday."
"Residents in several southeastern Minnesota cities are cleaning up after this week's floods as high water starts to recede.
A Goodhue County Emergency Management official says many homes in Pine Island suffered basement flooding, with some near the point of collapsing. According to a preliminary estimate from the American Red Cross, two homes have been destroyed, with dozens of others damaged.
Damage is less severe in Zumbrota and Cannon Falls, which participated in a FEMA program a few years ago that bought out flood-prone properties. The Cannon River crested overnight and water has dropped three inches, according to emergency management.
Water is still on the Highway 20 bridge, which will remain closed until it undergoes inspection by the Department of Transportation.
In Faribault, water was down by about six inches Saturday, though some streets remained closed. The city has received around two dozen reports of damage to homes, though officials say the true count is likely higher.
Water has not gone down in Northfield, where police say damage is limited to businesses along the Cannon River. No residential areas have been affected, authorities said.
U.S. Sen. Al Franken was scheduled to tour parts of Owatonna Saturday afternoon."
"SkyFOX9 flies over the flooding in Owatonna and Pine Island in southern Minnesota on Sept. 24, 2010"
Northfield Cannon River Flood
This is after a 2-day storm with a rainfall of 10 inches in some cities south of Northfield. We received around 7 inches on location. This is the Cannon river, overflowing. Thanks to the support of St. Olaf and Carleton College and the Northfield community, damage is being minimized."
Flood waters cut through Oronoco's main bridge
"Oronoco's main bridge is out of commission indefinitely, after flood waters drove around the Lake Shady dam and undercut the northern approach
Residents and volunteers fight flood in Owatonna
"A fly fisherman could get confused in Owatonna as a river is running through it.
Pre-thanksgiving Minnesota Storm Road Travel on November 24th 2010
"I was traveling from Morris to St. Paul, Minnesota. I made it to St. Paul safely! Thank God! I actually went on weather.com and 511mn.org to help me decided after work, which the roads weren't as bad (10mph below the speed limit on state hwy 28 (Morris to Sauk Centre) and 5 mph below only on I-94 with the traffic mostly along 494 by Fridley-Shoreview). Where is that pie now?
"MINNEAPOLIS -- The pre-Thanksgiving storm will bring some unpleasant travel conditions to Minnesota and the rest of the Midwest.
The new storm will develop rapidly Wednesday and move through Minnesota Wednesday afternoon and exit the area by Thursday evening. Snowfall will be light here in the Twin Cities metro and the rest of southern Minnesota with accumulations from Wednesday evening through Thursday morning of 1 to 2 inches.
The main issue in southern Minnesota including the metro will be freezing drizzle and gusty winds - the combination of ice accumulations on tree branches and powers lines combined with gusty winds could lead to some power outages late Wednesday into Thursday.
Anticipating worsening weather, many Minnesotans moved up Thanksgiving travel plans. "I've been hearing there's going to be a storm coming so I figured it would be good to head out a little early," said Monica Sample, a student at U of M - Morris.
Sample spoke with her mother who picked her up a day early for her trip home to Maplewood.
Another student, Brittany Hajicek, came to the same conclusion. She left Dallas, Texas a day early Tuesday morning, with plans to drive 20 straight hours to her grandmother's house in Bismarck, North Dakota, "because tomorrow there's a storm coming."
Hajicek made a brief stop at the rest area in Avon, Minnesota with five hours to go. "The energy drinks and caffeine help," she said.
Snow with this next storm will be heavier in northern Minnesota and North Dakota with snowfall accumulations of 3 to 8 inches along a line from Fargo to Brainerd to Duluth and points north - strong gusty northwest winds Wednesday evening and Thursday could cause near blizzard conditions in the Red River Valley of northwestern Minnesota and eastern North Dakota including the Fargo, Moorhead, Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, Crookston, Thief River Falls and Grand Forks areas.
Right now it appears the most difficult travel Wednesday afternoon through Thanksgiving Thursday will be on Interstate 94 from Alexandria to the North Dakota border and Interstate 35 from Hinckley to Duluth.
The weather will calm down over the weekend but another storm is on the way for Sunday and Monday.
Twin Cities Metro Area Extended Outlook Friday through Monday: Sunny to partly cloudy both Friday and Saturday with lighter winds - highs will be in the low 20s Friday and near 30 degrees Saturday. A mix of clouds and sun on Sunday with a chance for freezing drizzle mixed with snow Sunday evening - highs in the low 30s. Cloudy and windy on Monday with light freezing drizzle mixed with light snow on Monday - some light snow accumulations possible - highs in the low 30s.
(Copyright 2010 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.) "
"(CNN) -- Freezing rain and ice-covered roads made for a treacherous Saturday night in Minnesota, where more than 370 crashes were reported, most of them in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area, officials said Sunday. One person was killed.
"We had some rain, and as the temperature got below freezing, it created a layer of ice on the road," said Minnesota State Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske. "Until people hit it, they didn't realize it was out there. It was like an ice skating ring... everyone had a difficult time dealing with it."
Law enforcement continued to warn late Sunday about treacherous conditions, as roads ice up again overnight and more freezing precipitation moves in. A post on the state patrol's Twitter page read, "Many roads are still very icy (dangerous)."
A freezing rain advisory for the area expired 3 p.m. (4 p.m. ET) Sunday, but the National Weather Service issued another one in south and southeast Minnesota from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. CST on Monday as a low-pressure system moves across the region.
Forecasters predicted that ice as thick as one-tenth of an inch could accumulate on the state's roadways -- with bridges and overpasses especially susceptible.
Saturday night's fatality occurred in a crash on an ice-covered road, and weather was likely a factor, according to Roeske. Other possible factors in the crash were under investigation, he said.
More than 50 of the crashes on Saturday involved injuries. None of the injuries were categorized as serious, Roeske said, but there is a possibility that some could have been and that busy first responders did not classify them that way.
"Because it was an ice situation, it made it much worse than just a simple snowstorm," he said. "Over the course of just a couple of hours, it went from dry roads to wet. That ice is the problem because there's no way to distinguish it from the roadway."
The roads were so slippery that it was difficult to even walk, Roeske said. "Obviously, with that number of calls, it was something extreme to deal with. It was an incredibly busy and dangerous night."
As of Sunday morning, "We have problems keeping the plow trucks on the road," Carver County Sheriff Sgt. Dewitt Meier told the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune. "The plow trucks keep going in the ditches."
A sheriff's department employee was involved in an accident on the way to work Sunday, but was not injured, Meier said.
"I can't say enough how any travel that isn't absolutely necessary is not advisable," he said."
"MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Several jack-knifed semi-trucks forced a stretch of Interstate 94 in St. Joseph to be shut down for several hours Monday afternoon.
On Twin Cities roads, rush hour got off to a very slow and early start Monday afternoon. Traffic crawled on freeways and city streets as another round of snow created clogged driving conditions all over the metro area.
There were crashes, stalled cars, spinouts and plenty of vehicles in the ditch.
Congestion worsened as the work day ended and more than 80,000 people headed into the cities for the Vikings game in Minneapolis and the Wild’s game across the river in St. Paul.
“This is ridiculous,” said Kimberly Stiele, a driver from Chanhassen. “It’s been at least 30 minutes getting out of the city.”
A father driving his children to the football game was keeping his cool.
"What do you think it is going to do when there is 6 inches of snow on the ground? You can live your life at 10 miles an hour, you’ll be OK,” said Tim Hoagland of Apple Valley.
Deteriorating weather conditions prompted transportation officials to advise against any travel in the metro area Monday evening as crews cleared snow and laid down salt on the slippery streets.
The gridlock tested the patience of a lot of drivers who were anxious to get home or finish their holiday shopping.
A surprisingly cheerful man from Minneapolis took the slow commute in stride.
"It is moving slow but if you know how to navigate your way through you can get through,” said Clinton Scott. “Be patient, take the back roads and you will get where you are going”
MnDOT crews will be out all Monday night clearing the road. Some drivers have been working 20 days in row. MnDOT’s advice for your morning commute is to give yourself some extra time to get to work.
Get a look at conditions before heading out by checking the live maps, routes and cameras on WCCO.COM." Rough rush hour for metro commuters
"MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The season’s first significant snowfall caused bedlam Saturday on Minnesota’s roads, resulting in nearly 450 crashes and one death.
State Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske said that from noon to 8:30 p.m. Minnesota’s road saw 442 crashes. Forty-eight of those crashes resulted in injuries, one of which was serious and one of which was fatal. Some 282 of the crashes involved cars spinning out or running off road, and two of them involved squad cars.
Of all the crashes during that time period, 261 happened in the metro, which saw 28 injuries and 126 cars off road. The fatality, however, did not happen in the metro, Roeske said.
Police have yet to release information regarding the crash (or crashes) that killed one and left another seriously injured. Police said that as of 8:30 p.m., no more crash updates will be given Saturday"
"ST. CLOUD, Minn. (WCCO) — Saturday’s wintry weather is wreaking havoc on some of Minnesota’s major roads.
The Minnesota State Patrol said westbound Interstate 94 near St. Cloud closed Saturday afternoon due to several crashes. The closure spread from St. Cloud to Albany and Freeport. The interstate was closed around 3 p.m. and reopened at 4 p.m.
The interstate was also closed between County Road 159 near St. Joseph and Highway 15 in St. Cloud. There was also an accident at I-94 and Highway 101 in Rogers, but details on that are not yet available.
Eric Roeske with the State Patrol reported that from noon to 2:45 p.m., there 200 crashes occurred statewide on Minnesota roads. About 114 of those crashed happened in the Twin Cities metro area. The crashes include 78 vehicles that spun off road and 25 injury accidents.
The State Patrol is not reporting any serious or fatal crashes at this time, and there have been two accidents involving squad cars. Stay with wcco.com for more details on our wintry weather and road conditions as they become available."
"MINNEAPOLIS -- Thousands are without power and air travelers are being delayed as high winds continue to blow across Minnesota.
More than 100 flights were cancelled at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Tuesday and others were delayed by a record setting winter storm that brought wind, rain and even a little bit of snow by Wednesday morning. "
"MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) ―
The storm packed wind gusts of up to 81 mph Tuesday as it howled across the Midwest and South, snapping trees and power lines, ripping off roofs and delaying flights.
A massive storm has brought the first snow of the season to the Twin Cities and northern Minnesota, has closed schools, delayed traffic and has limited officials at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to using just one runway.
As of 7 a.m., Xcel Energy reported about 26,000 people were without power in the Twin Cities. Several schools, including Forest Elementary School in Crystal, Maplewood Middle School and John Clark Elementary School in Rockville, Minn. are closed because of power outages.
Other school districts, mostly in northern Minnesota, have delayed the start of classes because of high winds and blowing snow in that area.
WCCO-TV meteorologist Ron Trenda said the strong winds will continue across Minnesota and western Wisconsin today. The National Weather Service has issued a High Wind Warning for most of southern Minnesota until 7 p.m. Wednesday. Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Storm Advisories are in effect in northern Minnesota.
There will also be a mix of rain and snow off and on all day in the Twin Cities on Wednesday, Trenda said.
Winds will diminish a bit on Thursday, but will still be 15-25 mph.
"MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A massive windstorm moving over the Midwest has set an unofficial record in Minnesota and brought the first sign of snow.
National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Franks says the barometric pressure sank to 28.41 inches in Aitkin on Tuesday morning, the lowest in the state since Nov. 10, 1998.
Franks says the area of lowest pressure is somewhat like the eye of a hurricane in that the winds are strongest some distance away from it.
On Tuesday morning, he says areas of southern and western Minnesota were experiencing wind gusts of more than 40 mph, with a high of 59 mph recorded near the North Dakota border.
Franks says he expects the pressure at the center of the storm will keep dropping Tuesday and move north, bringing the buffeting winds to the Twin Cities in the afternoon.
The wind storm has also brought the first sign of sleet and snow this year.
"It's crazy," Alexandria resident Leah Wohlwend said. "In town you just feel the wind just pushing you off the road. I drive a big car and it still pushes me so I could only imagine with a smaller car."
"The weather sucks today it's cold it's miserable," Alexandria resident Anita Angen said. "I don't like it I'm waiting for summer. It sucks and it's going to get worse."
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Delays down to two hours at MSP
MINNEAPOLIS - Winds and rain settled down Wednesday yet plenty of people are still getting used to chilly temperatures.
"It might be better than last night but it’s still windy,” says Jes Brown of Elk River. “It’s like playing soccer in a hurricane.”
High school sports state quarter finals kicked off on Tuesday with football teams battling 60 mph wind gusts. South Minneapolis High School hosted Woodbury and during half time referee.
Jay McGivern said “Every pass every punt is an adventure you can see the ball bounce back with the wind behind it.”
Wednesday the misery continued on a smaller scale, but with bigger crowds in the bleachers. The Brown family watched back to back girl’s soccer games at Hopkins High School Wednesday night. They were surprised how many students came down from Duluth East to cheer on their team. The students had a snow day thanks to about 4 inches of snow.
“It’s nicer here right now…but it’s cold."