(NEW YORK) — A Minnesota snowstorm turned highways and roads into a slippery destruction derby in which at least 261 vehicle crashes were reported in an 18-hour period, authorities said.
The traffic mayhem occurred as the first significant snowstorm of the season dumped about an inch of fresh powder across the Twin Cities area and farther north on Sunday, officials said.
“Roads are slippery and many driving too fast for conditions,” Sgt. Jesse Grabow, a spokesperson for the Minnesota State Patrol, said in a Twitter post on Sunday night that included a photo of a jackknifed tractor-trailer rig blocking lanes on Interstate 94 near Rothsay close to the Minnesota-North Dakota border.
The Minnesota State Patrol reported 26 people were injured in the vehicle crashes that occurred between 5 p.m. on Saturday and 11 p.m. on Sunday. No fatalities were reported.
Busy state troopers also responded to another 115 vehicle spin-outs and four jackknifed tractor-trailer rigs during the chaotic time span, officials said.
“Everyone is a rookie on the first snow. People running stop signs, stop lights and you got the people that are overcautious,” Josh Hicks, a Minnesota driver who braved the treacherous conditions, told ABC affiliate station KTSP-TV in St. Paul.
The National Weather Service is forecasting sunny skies and frigid weather in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area today with temperatures around 7 degrees. Blustery winds will make it feel minus-13 degrees, according to the weather service.
There is a 50% chance of more snow hitting the area on Tuesday, according to the weather service forecast.
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