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1st snowfall arrives in fall: Crash kills 1 on icy road

A 26-year-old Pierz man was killed in a crash amid snowy and icy conditions Friday morning on Highway 25 near 30th Street east of St. Mathias. Alvaro Ambriz Rodriguez was southbound in a 2013 Kia Sorento at about 9:14 a.m. when he lost control of...

Minnesota Department of Transportation workers attempt to fix a sign Friday amid snowy and chilly conditions. A storm late Thursday and early Friday dumped two inches, possibly more, on the Brainerd area. Some intersections in Brainerd had their stoplights either lose power or become obscured by the snow. Zach Kayser / Brainerd Dispatch
Minnesota Department of Transportation workers attempt to fix a sign Friday amid snowy and chilly conditions. A storm late Thursday and early Friday dumped two inches, possibly more, on the Brainerd area. Some intersections in Brainerd had their stoplights either lose power or become obscured by the snow. Zach Kayser / Brainerd Dispatch

A 26-year-old Pierz man was killed in a crash amid snowy and icy conditions Friday morning on Highway 25 near 30th Street east of St. Mathias.

Alvaro Ambriz Rodriguez was southbound in a 2013 Kia Sorento at about 9:14 a.m. when he lost control of his vehicle while attempting to pass another vehicle, the Minnesota State Patrol said. Rodriguez then collided with an oncoming semitrailer in the opposite lane, driven by Rodney Allen Lund, 60, of Fargo. Lund was not injured in the crash. Both men were wearing their seat belts.

The state patrol was assisted by the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office and the Pierz Fire Department.

Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office Capt. Scott Goddard said that other than the fatal crash, the county saw relatively few vehicle crashes given the weather conditions.

"We didn't end up with too many crashes, or vehicles in the ditch, or anything," he said.

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However, several locations experienced electrical power loss Friday morning related to the storm, including the sheriff's office, he said. The office ran on its backup systems. The sheriff's office also responded to downed power lines blocking the road near Fifty Lakes, Goddard said.

Crow Wing Power reported 227 of its members were without power at 8:13 a.m. As of 4:30 p.m., its outage map showed four members without power. Minnesota Power's outage map showed a small outage within the range of 1-100 customers south of Pierz.

Thursday's snow breaks Brainerd record

A National Weather Service observer reported about 2 inches of snow in Brainerd Thursday, breaking the record for highest historic single-day snowfall total for Oct. 26.

The snow total also ties the second-highest single snowfall total for the entire month of October, NWS meteorologist Bill Leatham said.

The highest October single day total for Brainerd is 3 inches, which occurred Oct. 22, 1987, and Oct. 31, 1972.

Leatham said the 2-inch snow total accounted for the time up until 7 a.m. Friday, and Friday's totals would come in the following day. Reported totals for Thursday in the area included 5 inches of snow in Crosby, Leatham said.

While the snow totals were smaller in Brainerd and Baxter, the sticky snow coated signal lights on Highway 371 with Brainerd firefighters using fire hoses to clear the traffic lights. By late afternoon Friday, the weather service listed a hazardous weather outlook for central Minnesota with a combination of wind, snow and blowing snow affecting the region, with better conditions expected Saturday, Oct. 28.

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Snow chance lingers through Monday

Snow and rain remain a possibility throughout the weekend through Monday night, the NWS reported, with temperatures expected to remain in the 30s and 40s.

On Saturday, Oct. 28, the expected high temperature is 37 degrees, with a northwest wind of 5-10 mph. The chance of snow moves in after 1 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, with the chance remaining through 10 a.m. Winds may kick up through the day, gusting as high as 15 mph while the chance for precipitation is 50 percent. The high temperature in Sunday's forecast is 41 degrees.

NWS expects a slight chance of snow before 10 a.m. Monday, after which a mix of precipitation has a 30 percent chance of showing up. Monday's temperature is expected to top out at 38 degrees, with a low of 22 degrees overnight.

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