Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

Jan. 16, 2020

MnDOT snowplows ready as Winter Storm Warning issued for southeast Minnesota

ROCHESTER, Minn. – MnDOT snowplows will be out on southeast Minnesota state highways Friday through the weekend when snow is forecasted for the region, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for southeast Minnesota. Motorists will encounter accumulating snow, a wintry mix of snow and freezing rain and areas of blowing and drifting snow Friday afternoon through Saturday.  The National Weather Service is forecasting that a total snowfall of 4 to 6 inches is likely with 8 inches in some areas.  The heaviest snow is expected north of Interstate 90.

“Our equipment and snowplow operators in southeast Minnesota are ready,” said Tim Zierden, maintenance superintendent in MnDOT District 6 West. “Motorists can do their part by being aware of conditions to make smart decisions about their travel.”

There are 101 snowplows that work the state highways in MnDOT District 6, the 11-county region in southeast Minnesota. MnDOT expects 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 3,778 lane miles with the average route for drivers being 31 miles.

MnDOT snowplow operators are doing their part to make highways safe. Motorists should remember to:

  • Call 511 or visit 511mn.org before leaving on your trip to get current road conditions.
  • Turn on your headlights and wear your seat belt.
  • Turn off your cruise control.
  • Slow down; allow at least 10 car lengths between your vehicle and a plow.
  • Stay behind the snowplow. The road behind a snowplow is safer to drive on.
  • Watch for snowplows that turn or exit frequently, and often with little warning.
  • Never drive into a snow cloud.

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

For real-time traffic and winter travel information in Minnesota, a view of traffic cameras, snowplow cams and weather warnings, visit 511mn.org or get the free smartphone app at Google Play or the App Store.

To learn more about MnDOT construction projects and activities in southeastern Minnesota, join the Facebook group at facebook.com/groups/MnDOTsoutheast.

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