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Travel conditions dicey -- MnDOT urges caution

WILLMAR - Travel is proving to be tricky in parts of west central Minnesota this morning. Several area school districts, including Willmar and New London-Spicer, were two hours late today because of slippery road conditions. Because of high winds...

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Drivers along U.S. Highway 71 a few miles north of Olivia Tuesday morning were headed north. Most of vehicles were traveling below the speed limit due to visibility and icy road conditions. The Minnesota Department of Transportation is urging motorists to slow down and drive cautiously today. Shelby Lindrud / Tribune

WILLMAR โ€“ Travel is proving to be tricky in parts of west central Minnesota this morning.

Several area school districts, including Willmar and New London-Spicer, were two hours late today because of slippery road conditions.

Because of high winds and drifting snow โ€“ combined with roads that are covered in snow, ice and slush โ€“ the Minnesota Department of Transportation is urging motorists to slow down and drive cautiously.

According the MnDOTโ€™s state highways around Willmar, Benson, Litchfield, Morris, Clara City, Appleton and Ortonville are completely covered and areas to the south of north have patchy ice conditions.

There has been at least one crash and one vehicle spin-out this morning on state Highway 23 between Spicer and Willmar.

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MnDOT warns drivers to expect blowing snow and slippery spots and to especially watch for icy bridges and black ice.

Snowplow crews are out and โ€œdoing their part to make highways safe,โ€ according to Mandi Lighthizer-Schmidt , MnDOT District 8 public affairs coordinator.

Lighthizer-Schmidt advises motorists to turn on headlights; drive slowly on bridges, overpasses and tunnels; use a safe speed for winter driving conditions; keep a safe stopping distance from the vehicle in front of them; and keep both hands on the steering wheel and eyes on the road.

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Carolyn Lange is a features writer at the West Central Tribune. She can be reached at clange@wctrib.com or 320-894-9750
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