Icy rain sweeps across Minnesota

Published 9:15 am Monday, November 22, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Freezing drizzle and rain coated central and southern Minnesota roads with ice and caused hundreds of accidents, including at least two fatal car accidents. In one, a 12-year-old girl was killed in Stearns County.

The precipitation hit the state late Saturday night causing dozens of accidents on freeways and side streets in the Twin Cities area. Roads were still slick Sunday and the National Weather Service says freezing drizzle continued into the night.

In Stearns County, the Sheriff’s Office says a 12-year-old girl from Long Prairie was riding in a pickup truck that lost control on an icy road and went into a ditch about 10 a.m. Sunday. The girl was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle. She died a short time later at Melrose Area Hospital.

The State Patrol reports a four-vehicle accident on icy roads near Litchfield around 11 p.m. Saturday night resulted in the death of 44-year-old Kimberley A. Mead of Willmar.

About 120 air passengers were stranded in Duluth after their flight bound for the Twin Cities airport was diverted due to the weekend ice storm.

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport closed its runways from midnight until 5 a.m. Sunday, sending the flight to Duluth. Passengers say they had to wait on board the plane for a couple of hours until a gate was available.

Kris Moorhead of Minnetonka said passengers tried to make the best of the situation. They were given a $100 air travel voucher for the inconvenience.

Freezing rain was expected to hit the Albert Lea area today and through the evening, with the high staying below freezing.