MnDOT, snowplow crews prepare for winter weather leading into holiday weekend
BEMIDJI, Minn. — The Minnesota Department of Transportation advises motorists to be prepared for difficult travel conditions over Easter weekend. The National Weather Service has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for portions eastern North Dakota, west central and northwest Minnesota. Total snowfall predictions vary, but forecasted winds gusting to 45 MPH can lead to dangerous travel conditions.
MnDOT snowplow crews are prepared for overnight snow tonight, which is forecasted to taper off by Saturday morning. Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead and be weary of blizzard like conditions. The public can view winter road conditions from plow cameras available through the 511mn.org website. Road conditions on major highways can also be viewed at 91 locations across the state that show live rotating photos.
To access the plow cameras, go to 511mn.org and click on plow cameras on the left menu. A window will open to show photos and a map where the plow is. Underneath the current photo and map is a “film strip”, showing images every five minutes. The camera will activate when the plow is going at least 10 miles per hour. Images will be displayed for two hours. The active trucks displayed on 511 only represent a portion of MnDOT’s fleet for snow and ice and other maintenance activities.
To access the Road Weather Information System, go to 511mn.org and click on cameras on the left menu. Click on the camera at the location you wish to view. A window will open to show photos and current weather and road conditions.
Motorists need to reduce distractions. A plows’ sole purpose is to make the roads as clear and passable as quickly as possible. Motorists should remember to:
- Check road conditions at 511mn.org or call 511; it takes time to get roads back to good driving conditions.
- Be patient and remember snowplows are working to improve road conditions for your trip.
- Stay back at least 10 car lengths behind the plow, far from the snow cloud.
- Stay alert for snowplows that turn or exit frequently and often with little warning. Plows may also travel over centerlines or partially into traffic to further improve road conditions.
- Slow down to a safe speed for current conditions. Snowplows typically move at slower speeds.
For additional tips on safe winter driving, go to mndot.gov/workzone/winter.html.