MnDOT, snowplow crews prepare for winter weather leading into weekend
BEMIDJI, Minn. — The Minnesota Department of Transportation advises motorists to be prepared for difficult travel conditions today and throughout the weekend. The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Warning for the western edge of Minnesota. Be prepared for extremely difficult travel conditions. Total snowfall predictions vary, but forecasted wind gusts of 50 miles per hour, in some areas, could lead to dangerous travel conditions.
MnDOT snowplow crews are prepared for overnight snow tonight, which is forecasted to taper off by Saturday evening. 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.
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. Users can also access Road Weather Information Systems to view current road conditions.
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.