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Epic blizzard blasts Wadena, central Minnesota

The first winter storm of the season lived up to the hype. Heavy snow fell throughout the day Friday, Nov. 18, making travel difficult around Wadena and much of central and northern Minnesota. The National Weather Service issued warnings in the d...

With white-out conditions on Friday, motorists were advised to not travel unless necessary. Forum News Service photo
With white-out conditions on Friday, motorists were advised to not travel unless necessary. Forum News Service photo

The first winter storm of the season lived up to the hype.

Heavy snow fell throughout the day Friday, Nov. 18, making travel difficult around Wadena and much of central and northern Minnesota.

The National Weather Service issued warnings in the days leading up to the storm but the weather seemed to turn very quickly. Much of November had been warm and dry up until Thursday night. Then, gusting winds up to 40 mph accompanied heavy snow making driving conditions nearly a white-knuckle affair. Blowing snow created whiteout conditions, sometimes reducing visibility to a matter of feet. Heavy, wet snow created an icy slurry beneath vehicle wheels. Many vehicles were stranded and stuck even though no travel was advised much of Friday.

Wadena-Deer Creek School District Superintendent Lee Westrum notified parents Thursday night that school would be closed because of the weather. Other businesses in Wadena were closed all or some of the day because of the storm as well.

Snow totals varied but reports ranged from 8 inches or more in some areas around the Wadena area. The Brainerd lakes area had 10 inches or more of snow fall.

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The NWS issued a Winter Storm Warning was issued for Wadena, Todd, Morrison and Mille Lacs counties as the storm cut a heavy swath diagonally through the state and landed a heavy blow further east toward the lakes area. As trees failed beneath the burden of the wet, heavy snow mantle, power outages affected more than 12,000 people in the Crow Wing County region.

Minnesota State Patrol numbers statewide by 4 p.m. Friday.

• 340 crashes

• 1 serious

• 2 fatal

• 559 spinouts

The Minnesota Department of Transportation advised no unnecessary travel due to heavy snow on roadways. Over the weekend, many roads were still covered in snow and slick. In the city of Wadena, several roads were still slick by early in the week.

The forecast showed dry weather for the Thanksgiving holiday this week.

Related Topics: WEATHERWINTER STORM
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