The Minnesota Department of Transportation warns motorists in southcentral and southwest Minnesota that the forecasted winter storm with heavy snow followed by strong winds will significantly reduce visibility and make travel difficult or impossible Thursday morning through Saturday.

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.