The season’s first significant snowstorm struck the Upper Midwest on Sunday, dumping up to a foot of snow across parts of Minnesota to produce “near blizzard conditions” that made highways slippery and delayed some airline flights.
THE STORM also dropped a thick layer of white in South Dakota, northern Wisconsin and parts of Iowa.
Between 4 and 7 inches fell in the Twin Cities area, while Embarrass and Ray in northeastern Minnesota had 13 inches — the most in the state.
The state Department of Public Safety said the storm was blamed for at least one traffic death — a 30-year-old woman killed when the car she was in was broadsided by a bus in Eagan. Two others in the car were treated for injuries, but the bus’s driver and 27 passengers were not injured.
Traffic on interstate highways narrowed to a single lane as fleets of snowplows worked to clear the pavement, and football fans struggled to put up tents for their tailgate parties before the afternoon Vikings-Lions game in Minneapolis.
“It’s finally here,” said Dave Smith, of Dave’s Scooters and Snowplowing LLC, taking a coffee break in Edina to let the snow settle before heading back on his rounds.
“It’s just wet underneath and that’s going to be the problem for plowing and shoveling — seven inches under wet slush, it’s going to be a mess,” Smith said.
Delays at Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport were only 15 minutes or less during the morning, although some flights headed to the Twin Cities were delayed at their departure points.
It’s normal weather for November, said weather service meteorologist Seth Binau.
“This isn’t even a huge storm for Minnesota standards,” Binau said.
© 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.