Spring snow storm disrupts traffic; Pile-ups on I-35 shuts down interstate, 5 accidents in county

Published 8:05 am Thursday, April 11, 2019

An early spring storm barreling through the Midwest brought heavy snow to parts of Minnesota, Kansas, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming and Colorado.

Mower County saw an accumulation of roughly two to four inches of snow, but the National Weather Service extended its winter weather advisory to 1 p.m. from 10 a.m. today

The winter weather caused the early closing of area schools, including Austin Public Schools, Pacelli Catholic Schools and Riverland Community College.

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Snow and ice accumulation made for treacherous road conditions, with Mower County Sheriff Steve Sandvik advising against non-emergency travel.

Mower County Chief Deputy Mark May said the Mower County Sheriff’s Office assisted the Minnesota State Patrol with five accidents in Mower County between 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.: three on Highway 218 and two on Interstate 90.

According to Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Troy Christianson, the most severe area was on Interstate 35 between Faribault and Medford, where about 40 crashes occurred, including a 15-car pile-up.

Neither May nor Christianson had detailed information available by press time.

Elsewhere in Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, no travel was advised in the western portion of the state that included Lyon, Murray, Pipestone and Redwood Counties.

The chance for further snow accumulation drops the rest of the week, but chances are good for rain and freezing rain to continue through Friday with wintery mixes also possible.

Michael Stoll and Eric Johnson contributed to this report