The Thanksgiving holiday brought with it the first snowfall of the season.
While only about a half-inch of snow fell throughout the Brainerd lakes area Thursday, the snow created slick road conditions in some areas, causing more than 20 car accidents, mostly in Morrison, Mille Lacs, Kanabec and southern Crow Wing counties.
Duane Blanck, Crow Wing County highway engineer, said county trucks were out on Thanksgiving sanding intersections. The roads appeared dry but the intersections were slippery, particularly at County Road 12, on Mill Avenue and north on County Road 3 toward Merrifield, said Blanck. Blanck said trucks would be out by 6 a.m. Friday sanding for the early morning shoppers who will likely descend upon area retail stores Friday, taking advantage of the after-Thanksgiving sales.
"We know it's a busy day with shopping and people wanting to travel so we'll be checking those critical areas," said Blanck.
The State Patrol in Baxter responded to more than 20 accidents with about a dozen accidents in Morrison County, several in Mille Lacs and Kanabec counties and about three or four accidents in southern Crow Wing County. Most accidents were minor with few people injured.
A one-vehicle accident south of Brainerd Thursday injured two people while their two children also in the vehicle reportedly were not injured. The accident, reported at 3:43 p.m. Thursday, occurred about 10 miles south of Brainerd on Highway 371. The Brainerd Fire Department extracted one victim from the vehicle. One person was airlifted to St. Cloud Hospital while a second person was transported by North Ambulance to St. Joseph's Medical Center in Brainerd. The accident was weather-related, the State Patrol reported.
The Todd County Sheriff's Office reported a few minor weather-related car accidents in the county but nothing serious.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation had trucks out sanding and salting the highways Thursday.
Blanck said Friday's weather could create more dangerous road conditions than on Thursday. Friday's weather forecast in the Brainerd lakes area, according to the National Weather Service, is for a chance of snow and freezing rain in the morning with snow likely with a chance of freezing rain in the afternoon. Snow accumulation could be 1 to 3 inches. Highs 30 to 35. Snow is likely Friday night with a snow accumulation up to 2 inches. Lows 17 to 22. North winds 5 to 15 mph. Chance of snow 70 percent.
"I guess it's that first appearance of snow of the season and it's good to remind everybody to slow down and drive according to the conditions because the roads may surprise you," said Blanck.
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