Fast Moving Storm Leaves Area Roads in Rough Shape
Undated (KROC AM News) - Tuesday’s fast-moving snowstorm created slick driving conditions and contributed to numerous traffic wrecks around the region. Many school districts cancelled their after hour events and several are opening late Wednesday.
Snowfall totals across southeastern Minnesota were generally in the 2 - 4 inch range with more than 5 inches in Wabasha and Winona counties. The total at the Rochester airport was 2.4 inches. It was also very windy with gusts recorded at over 40 miles per hour, which created whiteout conditions and made it tough to keep roads clear of snow. Temperatures plummeted when the storm moved through, falling from around freezing to the teens. The temperature at the Rochester airport fell from 25 degrees at 1 p.m. to 15 at 3 p.m.
Other parts of the state also faced difficult driving conditions because of the storm and there were at least two fatal traffic wrecks, one involving a MNDOT snowplow.
The State Patrol says a man was killed around noon when his truck rear-ended the plow south of Little Falls near Royalton. 30-year-old Timothy Eckhoff of St. Michael was driving the Snap-on truck and died at the scene. The driver of the snowplow was 57-year-old Judy Breyfogle of Little Falls, who was treated for a non-life threatening injury. The State Patrol says she was plowing on Highway 10 and had her lights activated at the time of the wreck.
The other deadly crash involved an Itasca County Sheriff’s Deputy and it claimed the life of a teenager. The State Patrol says say the deputy had his emergency lights activated while responding to a medical call in northeastern Minnesota when 16-year-old Sierra Matthews of Pengilly lost control of her vehicle on Highway 169 and slid into the path of the squad car and other oncoming traffic.