Blizzard shuts down tens of thousands across Minnesota

An April Fool’s Day snowstorm unplugged tens of thousands of homes and businesses in central and southern Minnesota early Saturday, creating treacherous travel conditions across the region.

The National Weather Service hadn’t received many snow reports early Saturday, but an observer in St. Paul reported 6.5 inches. Measurements showed that about 9 inches of snow had fallen in West St. Paul just before 5 a.m. and it was still snowing.

Rainfall in the Twin Cities and much of central and southern Minnesota began Friday as intermittent heavy rain before turning to snow Friday night.

Northerly winds gusted in the region in excess of 40 miles per hour late Friday, prompting the Weather Service to issue snowstorm warnings overnight.

What does that mean? The news, analysis, and community conversations found here are funded by donations from individuals. Make a gift of any amount today to support this resource for everyone.

The wet, heavy snow left an icy layer on every surface – including trees, roads and power lines.

As of 5 a.m. Saturday, Xcel Energy reported more than 80,000 homes and businesses without power in its Minnesota service area — most of them in the Twin Cities.

The Dakota Energy Cooperative in the South Twin Cities Metro and the People’s Energy Cooperative, which serves much of southeastern Minnesota, each reported more than 1,400 customers without power.

In western Wisconsin, Xcel reported more than 8,500 of its customers without power as of 5 a.m.; St. Croix Electric Cooperative reported more than 2,600 customers without power.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation reported icy roads in the southern half of the state early Saturday, with a number of crashes and slips reported in the early hours.

Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport reported several dozen canceled or delayed flights early Saturday.

Any remaining snowstorm or winter storm warnings in Minnesota were scheduled to expire at 7 a.m. Saturday, as snow clears the region.

While it will take time to clear roads, sidewalks and driveways, Saturday morning conditions should improve quickly, according to the weather service. Sunshine is expected into late morning and into the afternoon, with highs in the upper 30’s in the Twin Cities.

Temperatures are expected to hit the 40s across much of the state on Sunday.

But don’t pack away your shovels, snow blowers, and winter gear after this weekend. Forecasters say another storm system could bring rain and snow to the region by the middle of next week.

How to keep an eye on forecasts, travel conditions and flight updates.

forecast updates

travel conditions

These state transportation departments provide live updates on road conditions and accidents:

For bus and light rail travelers in the Twin Cities, Metro Transit offers weather-related updates subway transit And Subway Warnings Twitter pages and on its website.

Flight Updates

If you are planning to travel from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport or any other airport in the region – or if you are expecting visitors by plane – airports offer flight status updates online:

track conditions

While a winter storm can cause problems for travelers, it can be welcome news for skiers, snowmobilers, and other winter sports enthusiasts.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources provides updates on cross-country ski and snowmobile trail conditions in state parks and along state trails in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Ski Areas Association releases updates on snow conditions at downhill ski and snowboard areas statewide.

The Loppet Foundation releases updates on Minneapolis cross-country trail conditions. shares cross country trail updates from across the state.


Leave a Comment