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Early Fall Snowstorm Cuts Power, Slows Travel

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MOORHEAD  (AP) РAn early fall snowstorm plunged residents of northern Minnesota back into winter-like conditions, slowed travel and caused power outages.

Wet, heavy snow pulled down power lines and temporarily cut service to 6,500 Xcel Energy customers in the Moorhead area early Thursday. The utility says service was restored by mid-morning.

After summerlike temperatures in the 70s Wednesday, some northern residents scrambled to find heavy coats and boots and dug and looked for their snow shovels and snow blowers.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for northwestern Minnesota, where as much as 14 inches of snow was expected to fall through Friday. Rain mixed with heavy snow and blustery winds reduced visibility to near white-out conditions at East Grand Forks. Thief River Falls and Stephen-Argyle were among schools that canceled classes.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved)

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