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I-35 closed after rash of crashes

Published 3:26pm Thursday, December 20, 2012

A rash of crashes in Iowa has prompted Minnesota authorities to close southbound Interstate 35 from Albert Lea to the Iowa border.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Minnesota State Patrol closed southbound I-35 at 2 p.m. Thursday. The Iowa Department of Transportation had requested the closure.

Southbound I-35 will remain closed until further notice.

A winter storm is moving across southeastern Minnesota and Iowa. Motorists are advised not to travel until conditions improve and MnDOT and the State Patrol reopen the road.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Officials say they plan to shut down a large stretch of interstate highway from central Iowa to southern Minnesota because of numerous car accidents caused by a powerful snow storm.

The state Department of Transportation says the closing Thursday afternoon will affect both northbound and southbound lanes on Interstate 35 from Ames up through Albert Lea. It is unclear when the roads will be open again.

Annette Dunn, a spokeswoman with the department’s Iowa Highway Division, says there’s zero visibility on the roads and it’s causing multiple car accidents.

The Iowa DOT continues to warn drivers to stay off the roads because of snow blowing and drifts caused by a major overnight storm. At least a foot of snow is expected in some areas of the state.