MINNEAPOLIS - Many people are waking up to delayed school starts, cancelled airline flights, and another slippery commute during this long cold winter.

MnDOT closed southbound I-35 from Owatonna to the Iowa border, due to several crashes and stranded vehicles. A "No Travel Advisory" was also in place for most of southeastern Minnesota for Friday morning.

The Minnesota State Patrol says since 2:00 p.m. Thursday, troopers responded to 174 crashes, including one fatality.

Xcel officials say over 20,000 customers were without power in the metro. The ultra-heavy snow was straining and breaking several power lines and trees across our region. Xcel had to call in extra crews to help.

Snow started falling in the metro around midday Thursday and will continue through the overnight. Many people at work Thursday hit the highway early to avoid the evening rush and clogged up roads. KARE 11 crews, out and about, spotted several spin outs - including a Metro Transit bus slipping into the ditch in Golden Valley.

Minneapolis, St. Paul and many surrounding suburbs declared snow emergencies.

Schools in southern Minnesota closed Thursday, including Rochester, Winona and Faribault as heavy snow and strong winds moved into the region. Minneapolis Public Schools canceled all after-school and evening activities and meetings because of the weather. Minnesota State, Mankato canceled evening classes.

In Wisconsin, the Department of Transportation reports snow-covered roads in the northwestern part of the state. Roads are ice-covered in central Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Emergency Operations Center says the storm could dump 15 to 18 inches of snow in parts of northwestern Wisconsin by Friday morning. The National Weather Service says snow rates could reach an inch an hour later Thursday and overnight.