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Northeastern Minnesota gets buried

A three-day storm has buried northeastern Minnesota under 2 feet of snow, causing hundreds of traffic accidents and closing schools. Meanwhile, no snow is expected in the Rochester area, which instead was hit today with a freezing rain that caused...

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Robert Guthrie, left, 7, and his buddy Eli Glasgow, 8, fly over a snow bump on a track they and their friends made along the sidewalk in Duluth's Central Hillside, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Duluth News Tribune, Bob King)
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A three-day storm has buried northeastern Minnesota under 2 feet of snow, causing hundreds of traffic accidents and closing schools.

Meanwhile, no snow is expected in the Rochester area, which instead was hit today with a freezing rain that caused icy roads and several accidents.

A National Weather Service observer reported 26 inches of snow north of Two Harbors late Tuesday night. Duluth was buried under at least 16 inches. Much of the region will see another 8 to 12 inches today, forecasters said, and by the time the winter storm warning ends Thursday morning, snowfall totals could approach 3 feet in some areas.

"We don't get three-day snowfalls very often, every few years. Even for the North Shore and Duluth, for a storm to hit 30 inches, that's pretty unusual," said Carol Christenson, National Weather Service meteorologist in Duluth. "For us to even forecast snow totals like this, it goes against the averages."

Kelly Fleissner, who leads Duluth's snowplowing efforts for more than 400 miles of city streets, said city crews worked 16-hour shifts during the height of the storm Monday night and Tuesday. He said they will be out in full force again today.

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"We had so much snow that we had to stay on the main roads all night into Tuesday morning. So we were late getting into the residential streets. I know it's been tough for people just to get out of their neighborhoods. But please, be patient," Fleissner said.

In Rochester, 0.11 inches of rain or sleet fell Tuesday, enough to make roads slick or slushy, according to the National Weather Service at La Crosse, Wis.

More freezing rain is expected to fall until about 9 tonight, and the service has issued a winter weather advisory for most of southeastern Minnesota.

After the rain ends, temperatures are expected to drop, with an overnight low about 14 and a wind chill around zero.

Then cold will get much more serious.

The service expects the high Thursday will only be near 16, which is 15 degrees below normal, and the wind chill will be minus 3. Friday through Tuesday will be much of the same — unusually cold with highs barely getting into double digits.

On Tuesday, there were four accidents in the region, according to the State Patrol. They were:

* Late Tuesday morning, Donald Hasbrook, 78, of Marshfield, Wis., lost control of a minivan on an icy part of U.S. 14 east of Eyota, and it entered the ditch and rolled. He was not injured, but his wife, Norine Hasbrook, 77, of Marshfield, was taken to Saint Marys Hospital in Rochester; she is listed in serious condition today.

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* Ricky Fix, 63, of Storm Lake, Iowa, lost control of his pickup on a wet part of Interstate 90 east of Austin, and the vehicle crashed into the ditch and embankment. He was taken to Mayo Clinic Health System - Austin, where he is listed in stable condition today. That accident was reported at 11:17 a.m.

* Lindsey Myers, 19, of Des Moines, Iowa, lost control of her car on a wet part of Minnesota Highway 30 east of Blooming Prairie. The vehicle left the road and hit a tree. She was taken to Mayo Clinic Health System - Austin where she was treated and released. The accident was reported at 11:21 a.m.

* Keith W. Stolp, 59, of Rochester, was taken to Saint Marys after he lost control of his semitrailer on wet U.S. 14 about three miles west of Rochester. The vehicle hit the median and rolled. The accident was reported at 3:12 p.m. He is not listed at the hospital today.

NW Wisconsin hardest hit by snowstorm

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