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Two dead as snow, ice make for treacherous driving around Minnesota

Oct 27, 2017 07:17PM ● Published by Editor

By  Star Tribune OCTOBER 27, 2017 — 6:31PM

Winter returned to Minnesota Friday with howling winds and falling snow, contributing to numerous crashes in central and northern Minnesota.

In the state’s first snowfall of the season, 40- to 50-mile-per-hour wind gusts led to white-out conditions and icy roads across the state.

Two motorists died on crashes on snowy roads near Duluth and Brainerd. And the State Patrol reported more than 100 vehicle crashes and 125 spinouts.

The winter storm came after Mother Nature treated the state to sunshine and temperatures in the 70s just one week earlier. Light blowing snow fell in the Twin Cities throughout Friday. Authorities reported no extra traffic slowdowns from the weather or Metro Transit bus delays.

But northern Minnesota bore the brunt of the treacherous road conditions.

In Duluth, the State Patrol responded to numerous vehicles in ditches and crashes, including a jackknifed semi. West of Duluth, a 44-year-old man driving a semi died when he crashed into the icy St. Louis River. The semi slid off Interstate 35 on an overpass near Scanlon at 4:40 a.m., the State Patrol said. Hours later, authorities recovered the driver’s body from the river.

    A few hours later, a 26-year-old man from Pierz, Minn, died when he lost control of the 2013 Kia Sorrento he was driving south on icy Hwy. 25 n Daggett Brook Township, in Crow Wing County, and was struck by a northbound semi, the patrol said. Alvaro A. Rodriguez died at the scene just after 9 a.m. The semi driver, Rodney A. Lund, 60, of Fargo, N.D., was not hurt. Both were wearing seat belts and alcohol is not thought to have been a factor, the patrol said.

    More than 8 inches of snow fell in Duluth, breaking the city’s record for daily snowfall on Oct. 27. Almost 11 inches fell near Scanlon, 10.2 in Hermantown, 10 in Finland, 9 in Holyoke, 8.3 in Chisholm and 8 in Moose Lake.

    “It’s unusual to have this much snow [this early],” said meteorologist Bryan Howell with the National Weather Service office in Duluth, adding that downtown Duluth had lighter amounts of snow, but “as you go up the hill, it gets worse and worse.”

    Duluth typically gets a total of about 1 inch of snow in October. Instead, Friday marked the second highest one-day snowfall total for October in city history.

    As a result, the University of Minnesota Duluth shut down campus at 2 p.m. And in Canal Park, high winds and huge Lake Superior waves caused flooding and damaged the Lakewalk Trail, ripping out sections of the trail and covering other areas in rocks. Nearby hotel parking lots were flooded and full of debris — from logs to rocks tossed ashore.

    The massive waves and destruction was unusual even for the Lake Superior city, occurring in part because the lake is near record high levels.

    “It’s definitely worse,” said Erik Birkeland, manager of parks maintenance in Duluth. “They’re huge [waves] ... It’s a powerful lake.”

    Across the state, MnDOT snowplows were out in full force on major freeways pre-treating and clearing roads throughout the day. Wind gusts reached 40 miles per hour across the metro and almost 50 miles per hour in places such as Redwood Falls and Olivia.

    Unusual weather

    While the late October snowfall brought back memories of the Halloween Blizzard of 1991, snow in October in Minnesota is actually rare.

    In the past two decades, only three years have had measurable snow in October. In the Twin Cities, the last time snow accumulated in October was 2009 and the average date for a first snowfall is Nov. 2, according to the National Weather Service in Chanhassen.

    Saturday will bring a return of sunshine to the Twin Cities, but the chill will remain with a high near 38, the Weather Service said. Sunday brings a chance of rain after 1 p.m. and there’s a slight chance for snow and rain Monday morning. Then, after a dry, cloudy Tuesday, rain and snow may dominate the day Wednesday.

    In Duluth, crews are hoping the weather lets up next week so they can repair the storm damage in Canal Park.

    “In Minnesota, the amount of snowfall is always a surprise, but it’s not even November yet,” Birkeland said. “That’s when we’re famous for those big rolling waves. It came a little early [this year].”

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    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      12/01/2017
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • YMCA Classes

      12/01/2017
      12:00AM

      Click to view our current list of Group Exercise classes, pool schedule and gym schedule!


    • Annual 20% off Customer Appreciation Sale

      12/01/2017
      09:00AM — 05:00PM

      Come in to Lake Superior Trading Post and save 20% off on all merchandise in stock, this includes...


    • Lunch at the Senior Center

      12/01/2017
      12:00PM — 12:55PM

      Polish Sausage/ Sauerkraut/ Potato/Dessert/Milk


    • 20th anniversary exhibit, Begin | Continue

      12/01/2017
      04:00PM — 06:00PM

      A celebratory 20th anniversary exhibit titled Begin | Continue will feature the work of North Hou...


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      12/02/2017
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • YMCA Classes

      12/02/2017
      12:00AM

      Click to view our current list of Group Exercise classes, pool schedule and gym schedule!


    • Trails Final Check

      12/02/2017
      09:00AM — 02:00PM

      We welcome you to join us at 9 a.m. at the Groomer building on Caribou Trail to do the final trai...


    • Annual 20% off Customer Appreciation Sale

      12/02/2017
      09:00AM — 05:00PM

      Come in to Lake Superior Trading Post and save 20% off on all merchandise in stock, this includes...


    • Northwoods Fiber Guild Annual Holiday Sale will be on Saturday, December 2nd from 9:00am-2:00pm. ...


    • 20th anniversary exhibit, Begin | Continue

      12/02/2017
      04:00PM — 06:00PM

      A celebratory 20th anniversary exhibit titled Begin | Continue will feature the work of North Hou...


    • Square Dance Lessons

      12/02/2017
      07:30PM — 09:00PM

      Modern Western Square Dance Schedule for November 30 through January 25. Time: 7:30 – 9:00 PM...


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      12/03/2017
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • YMCA Classes

      12/03/2017
      12:00AM

      Click to view our current list of Group Exercise classes, pool schedule and gym schedule!


    • Holiday Movies in the Brewery

      12/03/2017
      12:30PM — 02:00PM

      Are you craving some beer with your holiday cheer? We will see you at Voyageur Brewing Company on...


    • 20th anniversary exhibit, Begin | Continue

      12/03/2017
      04:00PM — 06:00PM

      A celebratory 20th anniversary exhibit titled Begin | Continue will feature the work of North Hou...


    • Alcoholics Anonymous

      12/03/2017
      06:30PM — 07:30PM

      Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and ho...


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      12/04/2017
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • YMCA Classes

      12/04/2017
      12:00AM

      Click to view our current list of Group Exercise classes, pool schedule and gym schedule!


    • Lunch at the Senior Center

      12/04/2017
      12:00PM — 12:30PM

      Chicken Stew with Dumplings/Brussels Sprouts/Fruit/Milk


    • 20th anniversary exhibit, Begin | Continue

      12/04/2017
      04:00PM — 06:00PM

      A celebratory 20th anniversary exhibit titled Begin | Continue will feature the work of North Hou...


    • 1/2 Price Burger Night

      12/04/2017
      04:00PM — 08:00AM

      1/2 Price Burgers at Moguls Grille and Tap Room


    • Co-Dependents Anonymous

      12/04/2017
      05:30PM

      Co-Dependents Anonymous is a Fellowship of men and women whose common purpose is to develop healt...


    • Open Mic Every Monday at 6PM!

      12/04/2017
      06:00PM — 11:55PM

      Grand Marais Music Collaborative presents "Open Mic Night", every Monday at Grandma Ray's! The s...


    • Square Dance Lessons

      12/04/2017
      07:30PM — 09:00PM

      Modern Western Square Dance Schedule for November 30 through January 25. Time: 7:30 – 9:00 PM...


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      12/05/2017
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • YMCA Classes

      12/05/2017
      12:00AM

      Click to view our current list of Group Exercise classes, pool schedule and gym schedule!


    • Overeaters Anonymous

      12/05/2017
      11:00AM

      Overeaters Anonymous is a fellowship of individuals who, through shared experience, strength and...


    • Lunch at the Senior Center

      12/05/2017
      12:00PM — 12:30PM

      Tuna Hotdish/Salad/Fruit/Milk


    • 20th anniversary exhibit, Begin | Continue

      12/05/2017
      04:00PM — 06:00PM

      A celebratory 20th anniversary exhibit titled Begin | Continue will feature the work of North Hou...


    • Kids Eat Free

      12/05/2017
      04:00PM — 09:00PM

      1 free kids meal with any paid adult meal Available after 4pm


    • Trivia Night at Grandma Ray's

      12/05/2017
      07:00PM — 09:00PM

      Trivia Night from 7:00-9:00pm every Tuesday down at Grandma Ray's.


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      12/06/2017
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • YMCA Classes

      12/06/2017
      12:00AM

      Click to view our current list of Group Exercise classes, pool schedule and gym schedule!


    • Anxiety/Depression Support Group for Women

      12/06/2017
      10:00AM — 11:00AM

      Weekly support group for women. $2.00 suggested donation. No registration required. Please joi...


    • 1/2 Price Bottles of Wine

      12/06/2017
      11:00AM

      1/2 Price Bottles of Wine


    • Lunch at the Senior Center

      12/06/2017
      12:00PM — 12:30PM

      Meatloaf/Baked Potato/Beets/Dessert/Milk


    • 20th anniversary exhibit, Begin | Continue

      12/06/2017
      04:00PM — 06:00PM

      A celebratory 20th anniversary exhibit titled Begin | Continue will feature the work of North Hou...


    • Craft and a Craft Market

      12/06/2017
      04:30PM — 06:30PM

      Voyageur Brewing is proud to host weekly craft markets until Christmas with local Cook County art...


    • Square Dance Lessons

      12/06/2017
      07:30PM — 09:00PM

      Modern Western Square Dance Schedule for November 30 through January 25. Time: 7:30 – 9:00 PM...


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      12/07/2017
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • YMCA Classes

      12/07/2017
      12:00AM

      Click to view our current list of Group Exercise classes, pool schedule and gym schedule!


    • Lunch at the Senior Center

      12/07/2017
      12:00PM — 12:30PM

      Linda Johnson's Treat!!!


    • 20th anniversary exhibit, Begin | Continue

      12/07/2017
      04:00PM — 06:00PM

      A celebratory 20th anniversary exhibit titled Begin | Continue will feature the work of North Hou...


    • Light Up a Life

      12/07/2017
      05:30PM — 06:30PM

      The 9th Annual “Light up a Life” offers community members the opportunity to celebrate the life o...


    • Alcoholics Anonymous

      12/07/2017
      06:30PM

      Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and ho...


    • Square Dance Lessons

      12/07/2017
      07:30PM — 09:00PM

      Modern Western Square Dance Schedule for November 30 through January 25. Time: 7:30 – 9:00 PM...


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      12/08/2017
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • YMCA Classes

      12/08/2017
      12:00AM

      Click to view our current list of Group Exercise classes, pool schedule and gym schedule!


    • Caregiver Coffee - Tofte

      12/08/2017
      10:00AM — 11:30AM

      Caregiver Coffee Join us to get to know other caregivers in a casual setting. Take part in a d...


    • Lunch at the Senior Center

      12/08/2017
      12:00PM — 12:30PM

      Beef Stew/Salad/Biscuit/Dessert/Milk


    • Legends of the Wilderness

      12/08/2017
      01:30PM — 02:30PM

      Experience the wilderness through reenactment of the 1800s with French Canadian Voyageur Jacques ...


    • 20th anniversary exhibit, Begin | Continue

      12/08/2017
      04:00PM — 06:00PM

      A celebratory 20th anniversary exhibit titled Begin | Continue will feature the work of North Hou...


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      12/09/2017
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • YMCA Classes

      12/09/2017
      12:00AM

      Click to view our current list of Group Exercise classes, pool schedule and gym schedule!


    • 20th anniversary exhibit, Begin | Continue

      12/09/2017
      04:00PM — 06:00PM

      A celebratory 20th anniversary exhibit titled Begin | Continue will feature the work of North Hou...


    • In the spirit of gratitude, pride, and recognition of the community that has valued and fostered ...


    • Square Dance Lessons

      12/09/2017
      07:30PM — 09:00PM

      Modern Western Square Dance Schedule for November 30 through January 25. Time: 7:30 – 9:00 PM...


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      12/10/2017
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • YMCA Classes

      12/10/2017
      12:00AM

      Click to view our current list of Group Exercise classes, pool schedule and gym schedule!


    • Holiday Movies in the Brewery

      12/10/2017
      12:30PM — 02:00PM

      Are you craving some beer with your holiday cheer? We will see you at Voyageur Brewing Company on...


    • 20th anniversary exhibit, Begin | Continue

      12/10/2017
      04:00PM — 06:00PM

      A celebratory 20th anniversary exhibit titled Begin | Continue will feature the work of North Hou...


    • Alcoholics Anonymous

      12/10/2017
      06:30PM — 07:30PM

      Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and ho...


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      12/11/2017
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • YMCA Classes

      12/11/2017
      12:00AM

      Click to view our current list of Group Exercise classes, pool schedule and gym schedule!


    • Lunch at the Senior Center

      12/11/2017
      12:00PM — 12:30PM

      Boiled Dinner/Biscuit/Fruit/Milk


    • 20th anniversary exhibit, Begin | Continue

      12/11/2017
      04:00PM — 06:00PM

      A celebratory 20th anniversary exhibit titled Begin | Continue will feature the work of North Hou...


    • 1/2 Price Burger Night

      12/11/2017
      04:00PM — 08:00AM

      1/2 Price Burgers at Moguls Grille and Tap Room


    • Co-Dependents Anonymous

      12/11/2017
      05:30PM

      Co-Dependents Anonymous is a Fellowship of men and women whose common purpose is to develop healt...


    • Open Mic Every Monday at 6PM!

      12/11/2017
      06:00PM — 11:55PM

      Grand Marais Music Collaborative presents "Open Mic Night", every Monday at Grandma Ray's! The s...


    • Over 75 talented Cook County singers and musicians in the Borealis Chorale & Orchestra continue t...


    • Square Dance Lessons

      12/11/2017
      07:30PM — 09:00PM

      Modern Western Square Dance Schedule for November 30 through January 25. Time: 7:30 – 9:00 PM...


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      12/12/2017
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • YMCA Classes

      12/12/2017
      12:00AM

      Click to view our current list of Group Exercise classes, pool schedule and gym schedule!


    • Overeaters Anonymous

      12/12/2017
      11:00AM

      Overeaters Anonymous is a fellowship of individuals who, through shared experience, strength and...


    • Taco Tuesday Fundraiser Luncheon

      12/12/2017
      11:30AM — 01:30PM

      We are raising money for our dear friend & co-worker, Jennifer Rue, who is dealing with long term...


    • Lunch at the Senior Center

      12/12/2017
      12:00PM — 12:30PM

      Sweet & Sour Pork/Broccoli/Rice/Dessert/Milk


    • 20th anniversary exhibit, Begin | Continue

      12/12/2017
      04:00PM — 06:00PM

      A celebratory 20th anniversary exhibit titled Begin | Continue will feature the work of North Hou...


    • Kids Eat Free

      12/12/2017
      04:00PM — 09:00PM

      1 free kids meal with any paid adult meal Available after 4pm


    • Trivia Night at Grandma Ray's

      12/12/2017
      07:00PM — 09:00PM

      Trivia Night from 7:00-9:00pm every Tuesday down at Grandma Ray's.


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      12/13/2017
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • YMCA Classes

      12/13/2017
      12:00AM

      Click to view our current list of Group Exercise classes, pool schedule and gym schedule!


    • Anxiety/Depression Support Group for Women

      12/13/2017
      10:00AM — 11:00AM

      Weekly support group for women. $2.00 suggested donation. No registration required. Please joi...


    • 1/2 Price Bottles of Wine

      12/13/2017
      11:00AM

      1/2 Price Bottles of Wine


    • Lunch at the Senior Center

      12/13/2017
      12:00PM — 12:30PM

      Fish/Baked Potato/Corn Pudding/Cake/Milk


    • 20th anniversary exhibit, Begin | Continue

      12/13/2017
      04:00PM — 06:00PM

      A celebratory 20th anniversary exhibit titled Begin | Continue will feature the work of North Hou...


    • Craft and a Craft Market

      12/13/2017
      04:30PM — 06:30PM

      Voyageur Brewing is proud to host weekly craft markets until Christmas with local Cook County art...


    • Square Dance Lessons

      12/13/2017
      07:30PM — 09:00PM

      Modern Western Square Dance Schedule for November 30 through January 25. Time: 7:30 – 9:00 PM...


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      12/14/2017
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • YMCA Classes

      12/14/2017
      12:00AM

      Click to view our current list of Group Exercise classes, pool schedule and gym schedule!


    • Lunch at the Senior Center

      12/14/2017
      12:00PM — 12:40PM

      Swedish Meatballs/Potato/Green Bean/Dessert/Milk


    • 20th anniversary exhibit, Begin | Continue

      12/14/2017
      04:00PM — 06:00PM

      A celebratory 20th anniversary exhibit titled Begin | Continue will feature the work of North Hou...


    • Alcoholics Anonymous

      12/14/2017
      06:30PM

      Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and ho...


    • Square Dance Lessons

      12/14/2017
      07:30PM — 09:00PM

      Modern Western Square Dance Schedule for November 30 through January 25. Time: 7:30 – 9:00 PM...


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      12/15/2017
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • YMCA Classes

      12/15/2017
      12:00AM

      Click to view our current list of Group Exercise classes, pool schedule and gym schedule!


    • Caregiver Coffee - Grand Marais

      12/15/2017
      10:00AM — 11:30AM

      Caregiver Coffee Join us to get to know other caregivers in a casual setting. Take part in a d...


    • Caregiver Coffee

      12/15/2017
      10:00AM — 11:30AM

      Caregiver Coffee Join us to get to know other caregivers in a casual setting. Take part in a d...


    • Lunch at the Senior Center

      12/15/2017
      12:00PM — 12:30PM

      Beef, Rice, Cabbage Hotdish/Bread Pudding/Milk


    • 20th anniversary exhibit, Begin | Continue

      12/15/2017
      04:00PM — 06:00PM

      A celebratory 20th anniversary exhibit titled Begin | Continue will feature the work of North Hou...


    Boreal Ship Spotter - larger view here