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UPDATED: Crashes on icy roads prompt officials to shut down stretch of I-94 in Clay County

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UPDATED: Crashes on icy roads prompt officials to shut down stretch of I-94 in Clay County
Perham Minnesota 222 2nd Avenue SE 56573

BARNESVILLE, Minn. - Icy roads were creating hazardous driving conditions this morning, with several crashes involving semitrailers forcing officials to shut down both directions of Interstate 94 near Barnesville.

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"Just a real narrow band of freezing rain came through the area, and it froze fast," Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow said.

At least four semis were blocking both directions of traffic on I-94. Westbound traffic was being diverted to Clay County 9 at the Barnesville exit and eastbound traffic was being diverted at the Downer exit, Grabow said.

Several semis jackknifed and two collided, but no serious injuries were reported, Grabow said. A number of vehicles also slid off the road into the ditch between Moorhead and Barnesville, he said.

"We've probably got about 100-plus people trapped right here until we can get things opened up," he said.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation issued a statement warning of icy roads in Clay County and said motorists may encounter brief lane closures where crashes have occurred.

In North Dakota, emergency responders were paged at about 8:38 a.m. to the southbound off-ramp on Interstate 29 at 52nd Avenue South in Fargo for a report of an accident involving an unresponsive male.

Authorities also responded to an accident on I-94 in West Fargo near Sheyenne Street, among others.

The Minnesota DOT reminded motorists to slow down, maintain a safe distance between vehicles and be attentive.

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