Freezing drizzle and black ice on Monday evening caused dozens of crashes and spinouts that stranded cars and trucks in ditches across the metro area, authorities said.
The National Weather Service said at 7:30 p.m. that there have been “dozens of accidents reported across the metro and northwest. If you don’t have to travel, stay inside tonight!”
Authorities cautioned travelers that slick roads caused by freezing rain were contributing to multiple crashes.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation asked people to avoid Interstate 94 between Rogers and Clearwater because of black ice. The State Patrol reported multiple crashes and spinouts.
Authorities were posting crash updates on Twitter starting at 6 p.m.
“Lot of vehicles can’t make it up freeway entrance ramps and hills,” one said.
The State Patrol reported that Interstate 394 was “pure ice.” There were several crashes on Hwy. 169 between I-394 and Hwy. 610.
There was a four-vehicle crash at I-94 and Brooklyn Boulevard in Brooklyn Center about 6:45 p.m.
The National Weather Service tweeted that side roads and city streets in the Plymouth area “are very icy. Mainline roads OK still.”
National Weather Service forecaster Tony Zaleski said Monday night that freezing rain in the metro area was not expected to let up until early Tuesday. Temperatures in the Twin Cities are expected to drop throughout the day Tuesday, from around 30 to the single digits.
“There won’t be additional melting,” so expect any black ice to stay until the roads are treated, Zaleski said.
Anoka County said in a tweet that crews would be out in the morning salting roads.
“Slick conditions tonight mean we have a full crew out salting every Anoka County road. Please use extreme caution when driving,” the tweet said.
An “Arctic hammer” is expected to drop Tuesday night, Zaleski said, with temperatures continuing to fall for the rest of the week — expect highs of about 2 degrees. Lows Thursday night into Friday will dip into the 6 below range, he added.
The NWS said it expects that windchill will come into play on Tuesday morning with readings from 20 to 30 below until Friday.
However, Sunday promises to be noticeably warmer — with a high expected at 17 and Monday in the mid-20s.