Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

Jan. 18, 2019

Winter storm warning issued in SE Minnesota, MnDOT reminds drivers to use caution

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Snow and icy road conditions are forecasted for portions of southeast Minnesota beginning Friday afternoon. After a lengthy mild and dry period on the roads, the Minnesota Department of Transportation reminds motorists of the importance of good winter driving habits.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for Freeborn and Mower counties in southeast Minnesota and a Winter Weather Advisory for Olmsted, Steele, Rice, Waseca, Dodge, Winona, Houston and Fillmore counties. According to the National Weather Service, areas in the warning have the highest chance of 6-8 inches of snow at a rate of an inch an hour and snow is expected across the region. MnDOT snowplow crews are on alert and prepared for the potential of snow and ice.

MnDOT snowplow operators will do their part to make highways safe and motorists should remember to:

  • Stay alert for snowplows, which turn or exit frequently and often with little warning. They also may travel over centerlines or partially in traffic to further improve road conditions.
  • Stay back at least 10 car lengths behind the plow. Don’t drive into a snow cloud.
  • Slow down to a safe speed for current conditions.
  • Turn on your headlights and wear your seat belt.
  • Turn off the cruise control.
  • Be patient and remember snowplows are working to improve road conditions for your trip.
  • Don’t drive distracted.
  • Check MnDOT’s road conditions map at www.511mn.org

For additional tips on safe winter driving, go to mndot.gov/workzone/winter.html.

“We want motorists to be prepared for the changing road conditions across southeast Minnesota to be sure their drive is safe and uneventful,” said Drew Fischbach, maintenance superintendent in MnDOT District 6 East.

In southeast Minnesota there are 101 snowplows that work the state highways in the 11-county MnDOT District 6. During winter weather such as what’s forecasted, MnDOT is likely to deploy two shifts of drivers in the snowplows, who can keep the snowplowing effort going around the clock by working 12-hour shifts. In southeast Minnesota, MnDOT is in charge of plowing 3,774 lane miles.