Midwest paralyzed by snow

Associated Press

Minnesota snowplow crews parked their rigs Tuesday because they couldn’t keep up with blowing, drifting snow that closed schools for thousands of youngsters from the Plains to the upper Great Lakes.

Willmar, Minn., had more than 28 inches of snow by noon as the heaviest snowfall lingered over west-central Minnesota. At least five traffic deaths had been blamed on the storm. Schools were closed from Nebraska to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, many for a second day.

“The weather is really gross. I mean really bad this year,” said Ed Kinkle, State Patrol dispatcher in Spooner, Wis.

Snow fell at a rate of 2 to 3 inches an hour at Willmar, about 100 miles west of Minneapolis, the National Weather Service said.

Snowplow crews were pulled off state highways in parts of southwestern and western Minnesota because of zero visibility and poor road conditions, and the state Department of Transportation urged everyone to stay off roads in that part of the state Tuesday.

“If you don’t know how to cuss, this will teach you,” said Ralph Bradley police chief in Clara City, Minn.

About 20 trucks were parked at the Hillcrest Truck Stop north of Willmar while their drivers waited for the roads to improve.

“They’re coming in and eating,” manager Margaret Serbus said. “I don’t think they’re worried, they’re just bored.”

One trucker arriving at the Cenex Travel Plaza in Willmar had to wade through waist-high drifts to get from his rig to the restaurant, supervisor Christine Just said.

Several drivers bought disposable cameras at the truck stop so they could collect proof of why they weren’t on the road. “The dispatchers didn’t believe them,” Just said.

Conditions were improving in other parts of Minnesota. Operations were close to normal at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, and Northwest Airlines had only minor delays, said Northwest spokesman Kurt Ebenhoch. On Monday, Northwest canceled 72 flights at the airport.

Wind gusted to 45 mph Tuesday at Superior, Wis., and as much as 15 inches of snow was possible across the northern part of the state by late in the day. Fourteen inches had fallen by midmorning on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and at Grand View, Wis., as the storm followed a northeasterly track into Canada, the weather service said.

Sixteen inches had fallen at Mitchell, S.D., since the storm arrived there early Monday, with 14 at Crofton, Neb., the weather service said.

Copyright ©2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A view of one of the potential locations of the new Aquasox stadium on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024 in Everett, Washington. The site sits between Hewitt Avenue, Broadway, Pacific Avenue and the railroad. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
20 businesses could be demolished for downtown Everett stadium

Some business owners say the city didn’t tell them of plans for a new AquaSox stadium that could displace their businesses.

Kathy Purviance-Snow poses for a photo in her computer lab at Snohomish High School on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, in Snohomish, WA. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
To ban or embrace ChatGPT? Local teachers fight AI with AI — or don’t

“It has fundamentally changed my teaching in really stressful and exciting ways,” an EvCC teacher said. At all levels of education, ChatGPT poses a tricky question.

In this Feb. 5, 2018, file photo a Boeing 737 MAX 7 is displayed during a debut for employees and media of the new jet in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
FAA gives Boeing 90 days to develop plan to fix quality, safety issues

The agency’s ultimatum comes a day after a meeting with CEO Dave Calhoun and other top Boeing officials in Washington, D.C.

Two troopers place a photo of slain Washington State Patrol trooper Chris Gadd outside WSP District 7 Headquarters about twelve hours after Gadd was struck and killed in a collision on southbound I-5 about a mile from the headquarters on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
State trooper killed, 1 arrested in crash on I-5 near Marysville

Authorities said Trooper Chris Gadd had been stopped along the freeway around 3 a.m. near 136th Street NE. A Lynnwood driver, 32, was arrested.

A man walks by Pfizer headquarters, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, in New York. Pfizer will spend about $43 billion to buy Seagen and broaden its reach into cancer treatments, the pharmaceutical giant said. (AP Photo / Mark Lennihan, File)
Pfizer backs out of Everett manufacturing plant after $43B Seagen deal

Pfizer finalized the acquisition of the Bothell-based cancer drug developer in December.

Madi Humphries, 9, Rose Austin, 13, and Eirene Ritting, 8, on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024 in Bothell, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
No grades, no teachers: Inside a Bothell school run by student vote

Each day at The Clearwater School, 60 students choose their own lessons. It’s one vote per person, whether you’re staff or student.

SonShine Preschool inside First Baptist Church Monroe is pictured Friday, March 1, 2024, in Monroe, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
SonShine preschool in Monroe to close at the end of the year

The preschool, operated by First Baptist Church, served kids for 25 years. School leadership did not explain the reason behind the closure.

Providence Hospital in Everett at sunset Monday night on December 11, 2017. Officials Providence St. Joseph Health Ascension Health reportedly are discussing a merger that would create a chain of hospitals, including Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, plus clinics and medical care centers in 26 states spanning both coasts. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Following lawsuit, Providence commits to improved care for Deaf patients

Three patients from Snohomish County sued Providence in 2022 for alleged Americans with Disabilities Act violations.

Cars drive through snow along I-5 in Snohomish County, Washington on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024.  (Annie Barker / The Herald)
In March, 7 p.m. sunsets are back for Western Washington

Washingtonians will finally start seeing more sun starting March 10. But a little more winter could be on the way first.

One of the parking lots at Stevens Pass Thursday afternoon on December 30, 2021.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Stevens Pass to charge $20 for parking reservations on busy days

Two-thirds of spaces will remain free for early arrivers on weekends. Cars with four or more occupants can also park free.

Days after shootout with Lynnwood police, suspect checks into hospital

Police learned the 18-year-old was in a hospital in Portland, Oregon. His alleged role in the shooting remained unclear.

Snohomish County pharmacy tech accused of stealing 2,500 opioid pills

Rachel Langdon stole oxycodone while working at a Snohomish County pharmacy, according to state Department of Health allegations.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.