Snow blamed for crashes, traffic snarls, power outagesHeavy, wet snow that turned into slush on city streets and county roads made travel difficult in Southeastern Minnesota and Western Wisconsin Friday afternoon.
By: Ruth Nerhaugen, The Republican Eagle
Heavy, wet snow that turned into slush on city streets and county roads made travel difficult in Southeastern Minnesota and Western Wisconsin Friday afternoon.
Rain turned to snow at midday, and was falling heavily at mid-afternoon, covering trees and yards and creating slippery conditions, especially at stop signs and on hills. About 4 inches of moisture fell before the snow slacked off at suppertime.
"A lot of vehicles are in the ditches," said Red Wing police Capt. Darold Glander. "Highway 61 at Munson Hill is problematic."
In fact, he added, "Any hill in town" can be difficult, citing the Brooks Avenue hill where a semi reportedly got stuck trying to come down. On other hills, vehicles were unable to get all the way up and ended up sliding back down - often into signs.
As of 4 p.m., Glander said, there had been many minor accidents and collisions, but he had heard no reports of serious injuries.
City trucks were out plowing and sanding, particularly on hills. Officers were dispatched to close the gate to Memorial Park on Sorin's Bluff.
The wet snow also was affecting utilities. Scattered power outages from downed power lines were reported on College Hill and Bush Street, and lines also were down on East Seventh and Burton streets. At least one traffic signal -- at Pioneer Road and Highway 58 -- was out around 4:15 p.m.
Heavy snow also caused limbs to break and trees to fall in late afternoon. Xcel Energy crews were dispatched to locations including Potter and Eighth streets and Highway 58 in the Hay Creek area.
Goodhue County dispatchers were busy as well. Driving conditions were poor "all over," they said.
Pierce County roads also were snow-covered and slippery. A sheriff's spokesman said roads in that area "aren't great," and that officers there also were responding to a number of calls.
The temperature hovered in the low 30s all afternoon, and was forecast to dip to around 31 degrees overnight. Today, however, it's supposed to be partly sunny with a high of 49 degrees.