Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

Jan. 23, 2019

Blizzard warning for parts of southern Minnesota, MnDOT reminds drivers to be alert

MANKATO, Minn. – Strong winds and blowing snow are forecast for south central and southwest Minnesota overnight tonight (Wednesday) and into tomorrow (Thursday) including a blizzard warning for Cottonwood, Nobles and Jackson counties. The Minnesota Department of Transportation wants motorists to be alert to rapidly changing conditions including dramatically reduced visibility and drifting snow.

MnDOT plows are currently out pushing back snow for additional storage and will be back out early tomorrow morning as conditions allow.  MnDOT officials are most concerned about the recent light snow from last Friday’s storm blowing and creating white-out conditions, especially for travelers on the Buffalo Ridge.

“The National Weather Service has advised us that these dangerous conditions are forecast to begin in the middle of the night and we simply want motorists to be alert to the potential of travel advisories,” explains Chase Fester, maintenance superintendent of MnDOT District 7.
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. 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.
  • 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 511mn.org

For additional tips on safe winter driving, go to mndot.gov/workzone/winter.html. In south central Minnesota there are 83 snowplows that work the state highways in the 13-county MnDOT District 7.