Parts of the Upper Midwest dug out from a heavy snowfall Saturday that caused more than 400 traffic accidents in Minnesota, and wintry conditions also were being blamed for a collision in northern Wisconsin that killed two people.
Nearly a foot of snow had fallen in parts of the Twin Cities area by Saturday evening, downing trees and causing sporadic power outages.
The storm that began late Friday night was blamed for a collision Saturday morning that killed both drivers and left a passenger hospitalized. The sheriff’s department in Wisconsin’s Bayfield County said the storm produced “rapidly deteriorating road conditions” that likely contributed to the crash.
Kevin Kraujalis of the National Weather Service’s Duluth office estimated that Bayfield County had a couple of inches of snow on the ground when the collision occurred. The meteorologist said the county had about 5 inches as of 6 p.m. Saturday.
The Minnesota State Patrol responded to 401 crashes as of 4 p.m, with 45 of them involving minor injuries, Patrol Capt. Matt Langer said. There were no other immediate reports of fatalities or major injuries.
The storm dumped 11 inches of snow in parts of Eden Prairie, Minn., and 10 inches in the Forest Lake and Mankato areas, said Todd Krause, a federal meteorologist in Minneapolis. The major snowfall activity ended by early afternoon, and today’s forecast looked milder, he said.
“People will still see snowflakes across much of Minnesota (today) but it won’t be adding up to anything,” he said.