UPDATE: MnDOT reopens state highways in Southwestern Minnesota

UPDATE: MnDOT reopens state highways in Southwestern Minnesota
Icy roads and visibility issues make it easy for a vehicle to lose control. (Source: Ryan Sjoberg)

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — The Minnesota Department of Transportation announced that all highways in southwestern Minnesota are now open but warns motorists that driving conditions will range from normal to very challenging as they may encounter ice and high winds.

“No Travel Advised” remains on highways in Rock and Nobles County and Highway 30 in Cottonwood County.

State highways closed last night NOW OPEN include the following counties:

  • Blue Earth (Hwy 60 west of Hwy 60/169 junction only)
  • Brown
  • Cottonwood
  • Jackson
  • Martin
  • Nobles
  • Rock
  • Watonwan
  • I-90 from South Dakota to Blue Earth

MnDOT says snowplow operators have worked hard to improve road conditions. However, MnDOT says travelers should use caution and watch for slippery spots, especially in open areas. Strong winds and blowing snow may create intermittent whiteout conditions. 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.
  • Manually 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.

ORIGINAL STORY:

NORTH MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — The Minnesota Department of Transportation is closing highways across the state as winter weather moves in.

Beginning at 10 p.m., all state highways in the following counties will be closed:

  • Blue Earth (Hwy 60 west of Hwy 60/169 junction only)
  • Brown
  • Cottonwood
  • Jackson
  • Martin
  • Nobles
  • Rock
  • Watonwan; and
  • Interstate 90 from South Dakota to Blue Earth;

The closures will remain in effect through the night and possibly into Friday morning, according to MnDOT.

MnDOT adds that it is illegal to travel in areas near a closed road. Drivers 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 could apply.

In addition, no travel advisories are currently in effect in Rock, Nobles, Jackson and Cottonwood Counties. Additional areas may be added as the storm progresses through southern Minnesota.

The agency adds that snowplows will continue to operate so long as it is safe for them to do so.

Visit www.511mn.org for more details on closures and advisories.

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