BROWN COUNTY - Rain that became ice when it reached cooler surfaces like secondary roads, sidewalks and driveways, turned parts of Southern Minnesota into an ice rink Sunday morning.
Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) spokeswoman Rebecca Arndt advised motorists not to travel on roads Sunday unless absolutely necessary. A winter weather advisory was in effect until midnight Sunday.
Travel was not advised by MnDOT on Interstate 35 from Faribault to the Iowa State Line due to freezing rain and ice, on Interstate 90 from Minnesota 109 near Alden east to the Wisconsin State Line, and throughout southeastern Minnesota.
Staff photo by Fritz Busch
The Minnesota Department of Transportation reported icy conditions making traffic difficult in southern Minnesota Sunday. This photo was taken on U.S. Highway 14, heading east, a couple miles west of New Ulm. Motorists are advised to call 511 or visit 511mn.org for updated road conditions.
Accidents reported by MnDOT Sunday afternoon included a rollover on U.S. Highway 14 about two miles west of Springfield; on State Highway 15, between State Highway 19 and U.S. 212; and on State Highway 19 between Renville County Road 35 and Renville County Road 5C.
The Brown County Sheriff's Office reported a number of mishaps Sunday morning including a personal injury accident near the intersection of State Highway 4 and 100th Street in Albin Township.
Several additional property damage accidents were reported in rural areas beginning shortly after 10 a.m
New Ulm Police also reported a rash of property damage accidents Sunday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Tonight's forecast called for chance of sleet, possibly mixed with rain and freezing rain and sleet likely after midnight, with areas of fog. Snow and sleet accumulation could reach one inch. Change of precipitation 60 percent.
Tuesday's forecast, according to MnDOT, predicted areas of morning fog, a chance of snow, possibly mixed with freezing rain in the morning, then a slight chance of snow in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation 50 percent.
Anticipating traveling difficulties, District 88 delayed the start of school by two hours today.
The State Patrol reported hundreds of crashes and spinouts as a mix of freezing rain, sleet and snow made travel difficult across much of southern Minnesota, according to the Associated Press.
Lt. Eric Roeske says 240 crashes were reported between noon and 4:30 p.m. Sunday, with 36 injuries, though none serious. He says another 152 vehicles went off the roads or spun out, and one semi jackknifed.
MnDOT also reported difficult driving conditions throughout the Twin Cities and along I-94 and I-35 west and north of the metro area.