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In this Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012 photo, wreckage lies on the road from a fatal accid

Let it snow

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A snow storm beginning Saturday night and continuing through Sunday evening painted the lakes area white but according to the National Weather Service in Duluth, it will be the only snow for awhile.

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“It’s looking like it will taper off tonight (Sunday) and we won’t have anything major until possibly next weekend (Dec. 22),” said Dean Packingham, senior meteorologist at National Weather Service — Duluth.

Packingham said the amount of snow varied across the state, with reports of 6 inches in Leader, 5 inches in Motley and 3.7 inches in Pillager as of Sunday afternoon.

South of Brainerd saw more snow according to Packingham. The Twin Cities had 5-11 inches reported and Sacred Heart in Rendville reported 17.3 inches as of 2 p.m. on Sunday.

In Brainerd, 5 inches of snow was reported at 4:30 p.m. Law enforcement responded to several reports of vehicles in ditches throughout the Brainerd area.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation reported difficult driving conditions on highways throughout the Brainerd area. MnDOT also reported a crash at Highway 210 and Crow Wing County Road 30 in Crosby.

The winter storm warning covering most of central Minnesota was set to expire Sunday night. A blizzard warning was out for much of eastern South Dakota and southwestern Minnesota.

The National Weather Service reported 15.5 inches at Sacred Heart and 12 inches in Montevideo in southwestern Minnesota and more than 8 inches in Aberdeen, S.D., by late morning. Reports of 5 to 8 inches were common across the Twin Cities area around midday.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation reported difficult driving conditions across much of the southern two-thirds of the state, with no travel advised in the Willmar area of west-central Minnesota. MnDOT spokesman Kevin Gutknecht said the agency pulled its plows off the roads in the Granite Falls, Madison, Marshall and Montevideo areas of southwestern Minnesota until conditions improve.

Kandiyohi County Deputy Todd Neumann said plows were having difficulty keeping up with the snow.

“Snow, snow and more snow,” Neumann said.

The Minnesota State Patrol reported about 300 crashes statewide from Saturday night through noon Sunday, with more than 30 involving injuries, but no fatalities. Lt. Eric Roeske also reported more than 300 spinouts or vehicles off the road.

Minneapolis, St. Paul, several suburban communities and St. Cloud declared snow emergencies, meaning parking restrictions will be in effect until the streets are plowed.

More than 150 flights at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport were canceled due to the storm, airport spokesman Pat Hogan said. Delta Air Lines, the airport’s main carrier, said travelers through the Twin Cities and Duluth could rebook their flights without charge. The Federal Aviation Administration said the snow was delaying some flights by an average of about 90 minutes.

The Metrodome looked only about three-quarters full at kickoff for the sold-out Bears-Vikings game, as the drive into downtown Minneapolis clearly took longer than usual for many of the fans. They continued to stream in late, with beads of melting snow apparent on everyone’s jackets.

In South Dakota, officials closed Interstate 90 between Chamberlain and Sioux Falls and Intestate 29 from Sioux Falls to Sisseton because of blizzard conditions.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)

JESSI PIERCE, staff writer, may be reached at 855-5859 or jessi.pierce@brainerddispatch.com. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jessi_pierce (@jessi_pierce).

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Jessi Pierce
Born: 9/28/1987 (age 24) High School: Mahtomedi High School (home of the Zephyrs) in Mahtomedi, Minn. College: Journalism and Mass Communications degree from Iowa State University (Class 2010) Passions: Sharing the story. I love getting to know people, and in particular this town as it is so new to me, and being able to share something about them with the public. That and sports, especially hockey and lacrosse. Follow me on Twitter @jessi_pierce (views on Twitter do not represent that of the Brainerd Dispatch)
(218) 855-5859
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