NEW ULM - A relentless winter unleashed another stormy blast on Thursday, and a blizzard warning remained in effect until noon today for New Ulm, the surrounding area and all of southern Minnesota.
New Ulm closed schools shortly before noon. According to KEYC-TV, more than 40 schools in southern Minnesota closed on Thursday. Extra curricular actives were rescheduled.
Total snow accumulation is estimated at between two and three inches for tonight and a total of five and seven inches on Friday.
Jefferson Elementary School students board buses for a ride home at 11:45 a.m. Thursday as District 88 closed school early due to a snowstorm forecast to become a blizzard later in the day and evening. Area schools also sent students home early. The closings added to the snow days that have some districts considering how to make up for the missed days.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation advised no travel in south central Minnesota after 6 p.m. due to heavy snowfall, high winds and dark creating hazardous conditions.
MnDOT reported heavy snowfall, making roads slushy and slippery. As conditions continue to deteriorate, snowplows may be pulled off the roads until conditions allow for their safe return, MnDOT said.
The Mankato District of the State Patrol reported 16 vehicles had been gone off the road and one crash had occurred by 3 p.m. Thursday.
The eastern portion of the state seemed to be hit the hardest by the storm. Road conditions from Highway 15 to the east were listed as dangerous. In the Rochester District nearly 30 vehicles went off the road, nine property damage crashes occurred, three of which were rollover accidents. Minnesota State, Mankato canceled its Thursday evening classes because of a winter storm, according to information from the Associated Press.
The Mankato area was under a blizzard warning for the rest of Thursday evening. Forecasters say Mankato could get up to a foot of snow. Winds were expected to gust up to 45 mph.
Schools in southern Minnesota closed Thursday, including Rochester, Winona and Faribault as heavy snow and strong winds moved into the region. Minneapolis Public Schools canceled all after-school and evening activities and meetings because of the weather.
By staff of The Journal and information from the Associated Press