Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News releases

Jan. 14, 2021

Latest news releases

Worst travel conditions expected overnight and into Friday

MANKATO, Minn. — (3:15 p.m.) While the timing will depend on the storm, MnDOT continues to advise motorists that overnight tonight and Friday travel in southwest and south central Minnesota could prove hazardous and result in “No Travel Advisories” and road closures.

Challenges with this forecasted storm will stem from the prolonged high winds and snowfall. The current warm pavements will result in compaction and slush that can send motorists into a spin-out and, of course, the strong winds combined with the snowfall will result in dramatically reduced and zero visibility at times.  In addition, MnDOT District 7 serving the Mankato and Windom areas is not staff for 24-hour coverage.

Crews in southwest and south central Minnesota were split into two shifts today so that plows will be out until 10 p.m. tonight – as long as it is safe to do so. Crews will be called in around 4 a.m. tomorrow but it could be a slow recovery as snow will have accumulated and is forecast to continue to fall.

MnDOT reminds motorists that it is illegal to travel on a closed road and if a motorist requires rescuing, they are liable for all related rescue costs.

Motorists should prepare for changing weather conditions and monitor road conditions at 511mn.org. They should also have a full tank of gas and winter survival kit if they must travel in these conditions. Motorists need to prepare for winter weather driving by following these steps:

  1. Check road conditions before your trip.
  2. Allow extra time to get to your destination.
  3. Make sure your gas tank is full.
  4. Be patient behind the wheel and remember snowplows are working to improve road conditions.
  5. Stay back at least 10 car lengths behind a plow, far from the snow cloud.
  6. Stay alert for snowplows that turn or exit frequently and often with little warning. Anticipate that plows may also travel over centerlines or partially into traffic to further improve road conditions.
  7. Slow down to a safe speed for current conditions.
  8. Remember to turn your headlights on!

Visit MnDOT's website for additional tips on safe winter driving.