MnDOT warns roads could close with spring floods
WILLMAR -- Spring flooding could cause dangerous travel situations in rural Minnesota communities, including Montevideo and Granite Falls.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation is advising motorists in the southwestern part of the state to plan for the possibility of road closures during the spring melt.
MnDOT has been planning and coordinating with local jurisdictions on routes and resources for several weeks in preparation of spring flooding.
Historically, the following highway segments in southwestern Minnesota have been closed for high water over the road:
- Highway 212, Montevideo
- Highway 40, Lac qui Parle Lake area
- Highway 67, southeast of Granite Falls
- Highway 14, west of Florence
- Highway 14, east of Tracy
Flooding is difficult to predict and roads may be closed or restricted without warning, according to MnDOT and motorists are advised to check road conditions in advance of travel.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's safe driving recommendations, motorists should not drive into flooded areas and to expect the unexpected as flash floods can occur anytime or anywhere.
Flooding can also knock out bridges, undercut highways and clog roads with mudslides and debris.
MnDOT will identify which roads are closed and warn motorists of potential pavement break up or soft shoulders that could give way.
Drivers are warned not to drive around barricades and to check the state's traveler information website, www.511mn.org, or call 5-1-1 for road conditions, closures and alternate routes.
If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely.
Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control and possible stalling. A foot of water will float many vehicles.
Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles and pick-ups.
When a road is closed it is illegal to travel in that area. Motorists can be fined up to $1,000 and/or 90 days in jail.
In addition, if travelers need to be rescued from a closed road, other expenses and penalties will apply.