Powerful winter storm lingers in Upper Midwest


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A fierce winter storm that created blizzard conditions in parts of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, closed interstates and caused hundreds of crashes continued to linger in the region Monday.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning in northeastern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where periods of heavy snow and gusty winds were expected to create difficult travel conditions.

Forecasters expected 10 inches (25.4 centimeters) to 14 inches (35.5 centimeters) of snow along Lake Superior’s south shore. Wind gusts topping 60 mph whipped up waves that crashed over shoreline barriers in Duluth and Grand Marais, Minnesota, causing localized flooding Sunday.

Heavy snow, icy roads and reduced visibility in North Dakota prompted authorities to close Interstate 29 from South Dakota to the Canadian border. Interstate 94 was also closed from Bismarck to Fargo and in South Dakota, Interstate 90 was closed west of Mitchell.

Freezing rain on Saturday caused nearly 500 crashes on Minnesota roads and caused Metro Transit bus service to shut down in the Twin Cities, the first interruption of service in eight years.

Jonathan Wolfe, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Duluth, told the Star Tribune that Sunday’s precipitation and winds were just the first round of what he called an unusually strong winter storm. This season is already one of the top five snowiest to date for the area.