Blizzard conditions expected to impact travel in northwest Minnesota
MnDOT warns motorists of difficult or impossible travel conditions
BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation warns motorists in northwest Minnesota that the forecasted winter storm with heavy snow and strong winds will significantly reduce visibility and can make travel difficult or impossible later Tuesday and Wednesday.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Winter Storm Warning that goes into effect Tuesday morning through Thursday morning, with long duration blizzard conditions expected.
Heavy snow, strong winds, blowing and drifting snow, and whiteout conditions are likely, making travel difficult or impossible. Motorists are advised that the forecasted storm may result in travel advisories or road closures.
Motorists should prepare for changing weather and monitor road conditions at 511mn.org. The forecasted conditions could become a life-threatening situation for stranded motorists. Drivers should plan accordingly with an emergency supply kit and clothing for extreme cold.
When a road is closed it is illegal to travel in that area and rescue may not be possible. Motorists can be fined up to $1,000 and/or sentenced to 90 days in jail. In addition, if travelers need to be rescued from a closed road, other expenses and penalties will apply.
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
- 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.
For additional tips on safe winter driving, go to mndot.gov/workzone/winter.html.