Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

Jan. 29, 2019

Drivers reminded to take extra precautions during dangerous cold, blowing snow

ROCHESTER, Minn. – As near record breaking cold takes hold of southeast Minnesota, motorists are reminded to take extra precautions to avoid potentially life threatening situations, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Subzero temperatures and strong winds will create wind chills from minus 40 to as low as minus 65 Tuesday afternoon through Thursday morning.

The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Chill Warning for all of Minnesota and most of the Midwest, this means wind chills are life threatening.  Frostbite can occur in as little as 5 minutes in these kind of conditions and extra precautions should be taken to protect against hypothermia.

In addition to dangerous wind chills, strong winds will cause blowing and drifting snow, increasing the likelihood for icy patches.

MnDOT’s 101 snowplows in southeast Minnesota will continue to work the highways, pushing drifts back and attending to icy patches, but motorists should continue to use slower speeds, keep their headlights on and watch for snowplows, giving them at least 10 car lengths distance. Check MnDOT’s tips at mndot.gov/workzone/winter.html.

If your travel isn’t necessary during the extreme cold periods, it’s advisable to stay home, if you are able. If you are driving, be sure to check car batteries, fuel levels and MnDOT road conditions at 511mn.org before traveling.

For additional tips on additional items to put in your winter survival kit, go to see the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Homeland Security and Emergency Management's winter survival brochure. Current weather conditions and warnings can also be monitored at weather.gov.