MINNEAPOLIS - Schoolchildren in Minnesota and western Wisconsin are getting a rare May snow day after a storm dropped up to 16 inches of sticky snow on the Upper Midwest.
Bobbi Howe's two daughters had to stay home in the southeastern Minnesota city of Owatonna, where 15.5 inches of snow made it hard for the family to open their front door.
Owatonna was one of dozens of school districts in Minnesota and Wisconsin that canceled classes.
The Twin Cities were supposed to be in the bulls-eye but escaped unscathed when the storm tracked farther east than forecast.
But more than 16 inches of snow fell on Ashland in far northwestern Wisconsin. The Wisconsin State Patrol says the spring storm was a factor in a fatal crash between two semis on Interstate 94 near Menomonie.
The heavy, wet snow was also tough on the power grid. Crews are working to repair electrical lines brought down by snow and broken tree limbs across parts of northern Iowa, southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin.
Xcel Energy says more than 29,000 of its Minnesota and Wisconsin customers were still without power around midday Thursday. Red Wing, Minn., which got 10 inches, was among the hardest hit area with more than 5,000 customers out. Xcel is urging residents to stay away from downed lines.
Rochester Public Utilities says about 10,000 of its customers lost power Thursday morning, though crews managed to reduce that number to about 2,600 around noon.
And in northern Iowa, more than 5,000 customers of several utilities lost power. The storm dumped nearly a foot of snow in parts of Iowa from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning.
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