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A Minnesota Department of Transportation snowplow pulls to the shoulder Monday on state Highway 23 west of Clara City after clearing finger drifts from the road. Tribune photo by Susan Lunneborg

West central Minnesota roads hazardous

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WILLMAR — Roads in west central Minnesota were already slippery and drifting Monday , with more snow on the way.

Much of Minnesota was under a winter storm warning Monday that was set to expire at noon today.

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Several inches of snow fell Sunday night into Monday. There was a brief lull Monday afternoon before the snow and freezing rain began falling. The National Weather Service predicted snow of 3 to 7 inches in the area. Less snow was predicted overnight for the Willmar area, while Clara City and Madison areas reported heavy snow Monday and expected more into the night.

Winds of around 15 mph were expected to cause blowing snow and continued driving difficulties through tonight.

Minnesota Department of Transportation plow drivers reported difficult driving conditions on many area roads Monday afternoon.

Plows would be out late Monday and back again in the early morning today, said T.J. Melcher, public affairs coordinator for MnDOT District 8.

Roads in the Willmar area had scattered slippery spots Monday, and driving was more difficult in the Clara City and Madison areas, which had heavy snow in the afternoon, he said. Plow drivers in the Sunburg area had reported freezing rain.

Melcher said drivers should use caution when driving and should give themselves extra time.

“That’s the biggest thing,” he said. “When you get in a hurry in these conditions, it causes you to take chances you probably shouldn’t.”

The National Weather Service suggests that people travel only in an emergency when severe winter weather is expected. If people must travel, the Weather Service recommends driving with caution and carrying an extra flashlight, food and water in vehicles.

MnDOT has a website that reports state road conditions at http://www.511mn.org/.

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Linda Vanderwerf

I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.

Follow me on Twitter: @lindavanderwerf

(320) 214-4340
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