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Drivers stranded by blizzard rescued in southern Minnesota



Authorities have rescued dozens of people stranded by a blizzard that swept across the southern Minnesota and dumped about a foot of snow in some places. In the east-central Wisconsin, one person was killed and several others injured Sunday in an interstate pileup during whiteout conditions.

The Minnesota National Guard rescued 30 people in Freeborn County on Saturday night, Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management said in a tweet . Sheriff's deputies rescued an additional 20 people.

Forty-eight people were sheltered at a Guard armory in Albert Lea, near the Minnesota-Iowa border, while the Owatonna armory housed 24 people stranded by the blizzard.

Gov. Tim Walz announced a state of emergency late Saturday and ordered the Guard to help stranded motorists in Freeborn and Steele counties. Joe Kelly urged residents to either stay home or if they are stranded on the road, stay in their vehicle and wait for help.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation said Interstate 35 is closed from Owatonna to the Iowa border and I-90 is closed from Dexter in Mower County west due to poor driving conditions with blowing and drifting snow. Many other highways in southern Minnesota were closed Sunday morning.

The National Weather Service reported 13 inches (33 centimeters) of snow in Kasson, 11.5 inches (29 centimeters) in Albert Lea and 11 inches (27.9 centimeters) in Ellendale. [19659005] In Wisconsin, one person was killed and several others injured and taken to hospitals Sunday in a pileup amid whiteout conditions on the southbound Interstate 41 that involved more than 40 vehicles, the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office and the Department of Transportation said.

North Dakota transport officials closed I-29 in both the northbound and southbound lanes from Grand Forks to the Canadian border on Sunday because of the blowing snow, which created icy road conditions, areas of zero visibility and life-threatening driving conditions.


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