Minn. Troopers Respond to 215 Crashes in Snowstorm

Updated: 03/05/2013 6:40 PM KSTP.com By: Leslie Dyste

A March snowstorm caused 215 reported crashes across Minnesota, according to the state patrol Tuesday afternoon.

Serious injuries occurred in 34 of the crashes from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m., reported state patrol Lt. Eric Roeske.

Troopers also responded to 314 vehicles that spun out or drove off road.

The snowstorm also is causing travel delays and cancelations statewide.

MnDOT is advising drivers to plan ahead and leave early.

MnDOT spokesman Kent Barnard said every available MnDOT plow was on the road, and drivers were working shifts of 12 hours on, 12 hours off.

The slow traffic doubled and tripled morning drives for many commuters. More than half of Metro Transit's buses ran on time, and its two light-rail lines stayed on schedule.

Eastbound I-94 was closed in Menomonie, Wisconsin Tuesday morning because of a deadly crash. It has since reopened.

As of Tuesday afternoon, there were 80 flight cancelations at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport due to the storm, an airport spokesman reported. Most of the canceled flights are to and from Chicago and Ohio airports.

The storm caused Delta to waive fees for one-time changes in travel plans for passengers using MSP and others in the Upper Midwest Monday and Tuesday. Click here to track flight delays.

KSTP.com Meteorologist Patrick Hammer expects the evening commute to be much better as road conditions improve.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Minnesota students got a day off Tuesday.

The scores of districts that called off classes or started late included an unusually high number in the Twin Cities area.

Among them was the northern suburban Anoka-Hennepin district, one of the largest in Minnesota with 39,000 students. Minneapolis public schools remained open, while St. Paul schools were open but dismissing students early.

Click here for a list of school closures.

A winter storm warning is in effect through 6 p.m. Tuesday for portions of Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

Some cities have declared snow emergencies.

Temperatures will warm towards the end of the week with a chance of a mix of rain and snow for the weekend. Track your forecast here.

The Associated Press Contributed to this Report.