Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

Jan. 22, 2018

Hazardous driving conditions expected in southcentral Minnesota

No travel advisories expected later this morning

MANKATO, Minn. — The Minnesota Department of Transportation is advising motorists that it expects to issue no travel advisories later this morning in southcentral Minnesota due to forecasted blizzard conditions and near zero visibility.

A no travel advisory is expected to be issued around 9:00 am for the following counties in southcentral Minnesota: Faribault, Jackson, Martin and Nobles. MnDOT anticipates a no travel advisory will also be issued for Blue Earth, Cottonwood, Brown and Watonwan counties around 11:00 am today. Other counties may also be added if conditions require including: Nicollet, Le Sueur, Rock, Sibley and Waseca.

Snow has already started falling and blowing in areas around I-90, reducing visibility. The heaviest precipitation, however, is expected to arrive later this morning and continue into Monday afternoon. Snow accumulation of 9 to 13 inches is likely in the heavy band of snow, which includes Mankato and areas to the south and east, according to the National Weather Service.

With the forecasted dangerous winds and snow, MnDOT officials are preparing for possible interstate and highway closures. Visibility will be dramatically reduced, if not reduced to zero and roads plugged with snow.

The public can view winter road conditions from real-time plow cameras available through the www.511mn.org website. Please note that not all plows have cameras

In southcentral Minnesota there are 83 snowplows that work to state highways in the 13-county MnDOT District 7. In southcentral Minnesota, MnDOT plows 3,325 lane miles. An average route for drivers is 34 miles. MnDOT snowplow operators have been deployed and are doing their part to make highways safe.

Motorists should remember to:

  • Check road conditions at www.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 www.mndot.gov/workzone/winter.html.
For real-time traffic and travel information in Minnesota, visit www.511mn.org or get the free smartphone app at Google Play or the App Store.