District 8 announces several road closures in southwest Minnesota
WILLMAR, Minn. – (9:30 a.m.) The Minnesota Department of Transportation has closed roads due to blizzard conditions. Roads will remain closed until further notice. The roads are closed in the following locations:
- All roads in Lincoln, Lyon, Murray and Pipestone counties
- Highway 19 (Morton to Fairfax) in Redwood County
- Highway 71 in Redwood County
- Highway 68 from the intersection of Highway 71 to Wabasso
Motorists are advised not to travel until conditions improve and MnDOT reopens the road. Roads can be closed using gates or lights. Some roads close without indication (no gates or lights).
Motorists should plan accordingly. When a road is closed, it is illegal to travel in that area. 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.
No travel advised - UPDATED
Highway 19, Highway 67 and Highway 68 east of Redwood Falls are still in the list of no travel advised locations. The following areas have been added to the existing list of no travel advised:
- Hwy 23 (Hanley Falls to Granite)
- Hwy 274 (all)
- Hwy 67 (Hwy 75 to Hwy 19)
- Hwy 59 (Clarkfield to Hwy 212)
- Hwy 75 (Canby to Hwy 212)
Motorists are advised not to travel in these counties until conditions improve. The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Warning for the majority of southwest and west central Minnesota.
MnDOT reminds motorists that the average snow plow route in District 8 (southwest and west central MN) is sixty miles, round-trip. Some routes are considerably longer. In difficult conditions it can take up to four hours for a snow plow operator to plow a route. In conditions where visibility is limited it can take considerably longer.
Plow operators have much to monitor and control while on duty, and their ability to see behind them is limited. Their vision can be hampered by the snow clouds they create while plowing. Stay back and give the plow room to work.
The public can view winter road conditions from plow cameras available through the 511mn.org website. Please note that not all plows have cameras. Road conditions on major highways can also be viewed through the Road Weather Information System (RWIS), which is also part of 511.
MnDOT would like to remind motorists 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 five car lengths behind the plow, far from the snow cloud.
- Stay alert for snowplows that turn or exit frequently and often with little warning. They may also travel over centerlines or partially in traffic to further improve road conditions.
- Slow down and use your head lights. Snowplows typically move at slower speeds.
For updated information on road conditions, visit www.511mn.org or call 511.