Late winter storm socks southern Minnesota

  • Article by: HER, AMP;#XF3;N M and AMP;#XE1;RQUEZ ESTRADA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 10, 2013 - 10:02 PM

Southbound lanes of Hwy. 169 between St. Peter and Mankato have been reopened after they were closed by flooding.

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A Minnesota Department of Transportation snowplow rumbles along Highway 169 north of Mankato, Tuesday, March 5, 2013, clearing some of the heavy snow that prompted the shutdown of schools and created hazardous driving conditions across much of Minnesota.

Photo: John Cross, Associated Press - Ap

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Road crews were dealing with a major snowstorm in southern Minnesota Sunday night, but its effect in the Twin Cities area was expected to be minimal.

Morning commutes in the metro were not expected to be severely affected, and the National Weather Service was forecasting little snow in the Twin Cities.

The Weather Service did issue several weather warnings and advisories on Sunday throughout southeastern Minnesota, including flood warnings west of Red Wing and north of Mankato.

“We have folks who are tracking the weather,” said Kevin Gutknecht, communications director for the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT). “We’re preparing as we always prepare.”

The State Patrol reported no major weather-related problems Sunday, with just a handful of accidents resulting blamed on slick roads.

“At this point in the season, its nothing we haven’t dealt with,” said Lt. Eric Roeske.

The southbound lanes of Hwy. 169 from St. Peter to Mankato, which were closed on Saturday because of flooding and mudslides, were reopened on Sunday. Gutknecht said Sunday the flooding was caused by snow and ice blockage of drainage systems.

“The water had nowhere to go,” he said.

Kent Barnard, a MnDot spokesman, said that by early Sunday night the wet, heavy snow was already causing problems in the south, where possibly a foot of snow was expected in some areas.

In the metro area, snowfall was expected to be minimal, with an inch or two in the southern metro, according to the National Weather Service.

Barnard said road crews were being dispatched in the metro area.

He said warmer temperatures would help melt the snow and clear the roads.

“We’re on the waning side of winter,” he said.

“Each day we are closer to the sun.” □

Herón Márquez Estrada • 952-746-3281

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