MnDOT Urges Holiday Travel Caution As Dangerous Conditions Continue In Parts Of Minnesota
As Christmas approaches, the Minnesota Department of Transportation is urging motorists who are traveling to use caution as dangerous travel conditions continue in parts of the state, especially in southwest Minnesota.
While the Twin Ports was spared the worst of this week's winter storm, areas to our south were not as lucky and tricking driving conditions may continue into Saturday.
MnDOT says high winds, dangerous cold, blowing and drifting snow, and whiteout conditions are still likely, making travel difficult or impossible. They add that strong winds may also knock down trees already burdened from heavy snow.
What everyone on the roads this holiday season can do is to prepare for changing weather and monitor road conditions at 511mn.org. If possible, MnDOT recommends changing travel plans if dangerous conditions are along your travel route.
Here are a few helpful tips for the holidays and throughout winter:
- Have your vehicle equipped with an emergency supply kit and clothing for extreme cold.
- 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.
- Avoid all distractions while driving
On Thursday morning, the National Weather Service in Duluth reported that while the snow was tapering off for much of the Northland, it will return to the North and South Shores.
Also, with winds increasing throughout the day, dangerous wind chills as low as 40 below will be found throughout the region, which is why it's crucial to be prepared before hitting the road. Drivers stranded in such cold face life-threatening conditions.
Stronger winds also mean blowing snow, which can reduce visibility and cause downed tree limbs and other obstacles.
The bottom line is, if you are traveling during the holidays make sure to check conditions, have snacks and warm clothes in your vehicle and make sure people know your travel plans, including time of departure and expected arrival.