Updated: 01/12/2014 10:35 PM
Created: 01/12/2014 10:59 AM WDIO.com
Slipping, sliding, and spinning was all Northland drivers could do after steady rain turned to glare ice Sunday morning. Rising temperatures and road crews throwing salt cleared the ice by afternoon, but the morning mess made for countless crashes.
Even the weight of a semi was no match for the icy hills of Duluth. Duluth Police ordered limited travel Sunday morning. Officers responded to 65 crashes or stalled vehicles in the city while state troopers helped at over 60 more incidents in Northeastern Minnesota.
Drivers on county roads were being more cautious according Highway Superintendent Kevin McConnell.
“Just a lot of people driving slow and trying to stay on the road. A lot of people have bad tires, but I mean even on this stuff good tires don't help. They're just slipping and sliding,” McConnell said.
Duluth Transit Authority bus service was suspended from about 10 a.m. to noon due to the ice, but McConnell said warming temperatures and flinging salt helped break roads free from the icy grip.
“We're just putting down a bunch of salt and sand, a 50-50 mix. Get that salt to kick in and it doesn't take much at these temperatures and the temperatures are coming up now,” McConnell said.
The thaw led to slick slush, but it was manageable for families that wanted to get out and enjoy the weather at Chester Bowl.
“Today's their first race of the season so we weren't going to miss it,” Anne Javaherian said.
The mother of two young skiers said the trek paid off.
“Definitely worth it because it's beautiful now. It's warm. I'm not wearing a jacket. It's a gorgeous day,” Javaherian said.
And the Northlanders said this small slippery spell wasn't bad compared to past storms.
“Oh I've seen much worse than this where power lines start coming down with the thickness of the ice on it and trees and stuff,” McConnell said.
He said the temperatures will dip again overnight so some patches of road could refreeze. That is a frustration all Northlanders are familiar with.
“We live in Duluth. You've got to expect rough winter conditions and you have to account for it,” Javaherian said.
As of 5 p.m., a Mn/DOT map showed fair travel conditions in Duluth, but difficult conditions on I-35 south of Cloquet. Road conditions were listed as good in the Twin Cities.
Fitger's 5K Raises $20K For Young Athletes
It may not have felt much like spring today, but thousands signed-up to voluntarily run outside. It was the 25th Annual Fitger's 5K this morning and that means racing season in the Northland has officially started. This year, the race raised $20,000 for the Young Athletes Foundation.
Post-rehab, Injured Snowy Owl Released in Superior
A rare snowy owl that was hit by a bus in Washington D.C. and sent to Minnesota for rehab is back in the wild. The owl was released outside Superior Saturday.
Circle of Native Nations Pow Wow Celebrates Winter's End
The 25th annual Circle of Nations pow wow took place at the UWS First Nations Center on Saturday. The center's director calls it a celebration of life, especially after the long winter.
Electric Fetus Parties for International Record Store Day
The Electric Fetus in Duluth held an International Record Store Day event on Saturday. The party featured live music, limited-edition releases, snacks and prizes.
Breakfast with the Easter Bunny
The Depot held a breakfast with the Easter bunny on Saturday morning. Guests could eat, play games and take pictures with the giant bunny before the big day.