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Storm closes schools, causes crashes

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Norene McWilliams shovels her dad's walk in NW Rochester early this morning after several inches of wet, heavy snow fell on the area. "If I don't do it, he will," said McWilliams, " He's 91 and a WWll vet, but he's not supposed to be out here shoveling."

MINNEAPOLIS — Snow and ice-covered roads added extra time to the morning commute in the Twin Cities and closed schools in several parts of the states.

Forecasters say about 6 to 7 inches of snow has fallen in the metro area, with greater amounts north and west. Hutchinson in McLeod County is dealing with 10 inches of fresh snow.

Some schools are taking the day off, including Annandale, Forest Lake and Maple Lake. Many others have a delayed start because of the difficult driving conditions.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for eastern and southern Minnesota until mid-morning. Another band of snow is expected to bring 1 to 2 inches of additional snow in the Twin Cities before it diminishes later Friday morning.

Meanwhile, northwestern Wisconsin is digging out from the snowstorm that dropped about a foot of new snow in some communities.


Some school districts are adding another day to their list of closings this season. Ashland, Bayfield, Birchwood, Hayward and Hurley are among districts choosing to cancel classes today.

Forecasters say 12 inches of snow has fallen in the small Douglas County community of Hawthorne, 11 1/2 inches at Maple and Ashland and Superior have about 10 inches of fresh snow.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for west central Wisconsin through the afternoon where the snow was expected to increase in scope and intensity.

And in Iowa, a spring storm that brought a mix of rain, sleet and snow is being blamed for numerous crashes and one traffic death in Woodbury County in northwest Iowa.

The fatal crash happened about 4:30 p.m. Thursday on Interstate 29 near Salix, when a northbound vehicle towing a flatbed trailer crossed the median and hit a southbound vehicle. The crash killed a passenger in the northbound vehicle and sent the driver to a Sioux City hospital. Authorities have not released their names.

Woodbury County Sheriff Dave Drew says the biggest contributing factors in Thursday's crashes were accumulated slush on roads and vehicles going too fast for road conditions.

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