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Blowing snow hampers travel; possible 50 below wind chills for early Monday

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BEMIDJI -- A winter storm moving through the Red River Valley and into northwest Minnesota closed several roads and made driving difficult throughout the region.

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The Bemidji area and much of northwest Minnesota remains in a winter weather advisory until midnight, according to the National Weather Service in Grand Forks, N.D.

The area is expected to see several inches of new snow, and with wind gusts as high as 60 mph, near-blizzard like conditions can be expected, especially in open areas, the weather service said.

On top of the blowing snow, temperatures are also expected to steadily drop through the evening Sunday, with actual temperatures of 26 below and wind chills close to 50 below.

Those frigid temps are expected to remain into Monday, again with wind chills as low as 50 below forecast.

Sunday's blowing snow caused several road closures, most notably U.S. Highway 2 from East Grand Forks to Crookston, which was closed at about 9 a.m. Minnesota Highway 11 in northwest Minnesota also was closed, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation road conditions website. Most roads in and around Bemidji were listed as "difficult driving conditions," while roads were listed as "hazardous" to the west toward the Red River Valley.

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