Area braces for worst of storm: Weather Service warns travel is not advised from late Wednesday into Thursday

Published 5:42 pm Tuesday, February 21, 2023

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The first round of what the National Weather Service is calling a historic storm began Tuesday — and it’s only going to get worse.

A blizzard warning is in effect from noon Wednesday to noon Thursday with heavy snow and winds past 40 mph expected to create blizzard conditions.

The weather agency advises travel will be difficult to impossible with patchy blowing snow and significantly reduced visibility.

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If people must travel, they should keep an extra flashlight, food and water in their vehicle in case of an emergency.

Schools began canceling classes Tuesday afternoon, and as of Wednesday morning schools were to be closed in Albert Lea, Alden-Conger, Glenville-Emmons, NRHEG, Northwood-Kensett and United South Central.

In Albert Lea, students will have e-learning, and elementary conferences will be virtual.

The Weather Service states there will be a lull in snow Wednesday morning, but by noon Wednesday the snow will be heavy. It will begin to ease slightly at 6 a.m. Thursday before completing by noon.

Snow totals from Tuesday afternoon through 6 p.m. Thursday were expected to be between 9 and 14 inches in Albert Lea with almost 2 feet expected in a band through Marshall, Redwood Falls, the Twin Cities, Red Win and into Wisconsin.