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A semi-trailer slid off the road on U.S. Highway 2 East Tuesday afternoon. With ice underneath the snow, the vehicle was unable to gain enough traction to get back onto the roadway without assistance. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper

Snowstorm blankets Bemidji area

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Snowstorm blankets Bemidji area
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

A blanket of snow covered the Bemidji area Tuesday, prompting some early school closings and creating slippery road conditions.

The National Weather Service in Grand Forks, N.D., received a report that 6 inches of snow fell in Bemidji by 3 p.m. Tuesday, said Dave Kellenbenz, senior meteorologist.

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"The worst looks to be over," he said around 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Kellenbenz said the Bemidji area had many bandings of snow Tuesday. While some areas may have received 6 inches, some may have received up to 12, he said.

He predicted the Bemidji area could get a couple of more inches of snow Tuesday night.

Today, high temperatures in the Bemidji area should be around freezing and there may be some flurries, Kellenbenz said. Any accumulation, he said, should be less than one inch.

On Tuesday, the Minnesota Department of Transportation cautioned drivers traveling in northwestern Minnesota to prepare for difficult driving conditions due to the winter storm hitting the northwest and west-central region.

Blowing and drifting snow created slippery road conditions and reduced visibility.

On Tuesday afternoon, Bemidji Police Sgt. Les Plasschaert said there had been three or four fender-benders in the city that day. Accidents in the surrounding area also were reported.

"People are being pretty good about slowing down," said Plasschaert, noting that it could have been worse.

Several area schools dismissed students early Tuesday, including schools in the Bemidji School District. The weather conditions also prompted Bemidji State University, Northwest Technical College and Leech Lake Tribal College to cancel evening classes. Red Lake Nation College canceled afternoon and evening classes.

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