Heavy snow, wind, ice make travel hazardous today in west central Minn.
WILLMAR – A combination of heavy snow, high winds, limited visibility and ice is making travel hazardous this morning in much of west central and southwestern Minnesota.
Plows are busy on state roads but are “not keeping up” with the blowing snow, said Denny Marty, maintenance supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Transportation District 8 office in Willmar.
Because the roads are warm “the moment you plow the snow off the water freezes,” which is creating slippery travel conditions, he said. “It’s dangerous driving.”
According to MnDOT travel is slow and conditions are not expected to improve until the snowstorm passes through the area.
About 4-5 inches have fallen so far.
The forecast indicates the rate of snowfall should start tapering off around 9 a.m. but snow will continue to fall for much of the day, dropping anywhere from 8-10 inches on the region.
Even if the snowfall isn’t heavy, Marty said the strong winds will continue to blow snow, reducing visibility. He said the icy conditions on roads will also likely continue.
MnDOT does not anticipate any highway closures at this time and Marty said he intends to keep the plows operating.
Motorists may, however, encounter brief lane and road closures where stalled vehicles and crashes occur.
Most area schools have cancelled classes for the day.