Snow returns, but worst misses AustinPublished 10:52am Friday, April 19, 2013
ALDEN — Motorists found themselves in ditches Thursday afternoon as road conditions deteriorated into a sloppy mess west of Albert Lea.
While Austin received rain and a dusting of snow, roads to the west were reportedly worse.
On Interstate 90 between Albert Lea and Alden, a Ford Escape rolled on the north-side ditch of the westbound lanes, a Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office patrol car slid into the north ditch of the westbound lanes, a white Lincoln Continental spun into the median near a turnaround, and a silver Ford Taurus spun into the north ditch.
Calls for most of them began to reach dispatchers around 2 p.m. Other calls were for automobiles in ditches on Interstate 35.
Despite 70 mph speed limits, motorists on the I-90 stretch were keeping their feet off the gas pedals, traveling about 30 to 40 mph.
The roadway was a mix of slush and ice. The 10 mph wind — with 20 mph gusts — would hit curves and make conditions worse.
The scanner traffic indicated many other spinouts and slides into ditches along area freeways. An ambulance responded to the rolled Ford. No crash report was available.
Freeborn County was not in a winter weather advisory Friday. However, Faribault County to the west and Waseca and Dodge counties to the north were. Much of Minnesota from Worthington to Grand Marais was in a winter storm warning.
Freeborn County was in a hazardous weather outlook. Albert Leans awoke this morning to a blanket of snow less than an inch thick covering the ground, plus slippery road conditions.