Minnesota Department of Transportation staff are cleaning up after snow and ice events impacted the area Sunday and Monday. Many roads in Chippewa, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, Meeker, McLeod, Murray, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville and Yellow Medicine counties remain partially to completely covered due to cold temperatures which slow the effectiveness of road treatments.
In addition to cleanup efforts, MnDOT staff are preparing for the second round of snow forecasted for southwest Minnesota predicted to begin Wednesday afternoon (Feb. 6) and continue through Thursday (Feb. 7). According to the National Weather Service, snowfall accumulations of four to six inches are possible throughout the area. The entire area is in a winter weather advisory.
Motorists can expect slippery roads and limited visibilities with blowing and drifting snow. Temperatures well below the freezing mark by Friday morning could worsen road conditions. MnDOT encourages motorists to use caution and practice good winter driving skills.
Two of the most important things that motorists can do while driving on ice- and snow-covered roads, are to slow down and manually turn on their headlights. Ironically, not all automatic headlights automatically come on when it’s snowing or foggy.
Motorists also need to reduce distractions and remember to:
• Check road conditions at www.511mn.org before traveling.
• Be patient and remember snowplows are working to improve road conditions for your trip.
• Stay back at least 10 car lengths behind the plow, far from the snow cloud.
• Stay alert for snowplows that turn or exit frequently and often with little warning. Plows may also travel over centerlines or partially into traffic to further improve road conditions.
• Stay out of a snowplow’s blind spot.
• Stay off the phone: no texting, e-mailing, or Internet while driving.
For additional tips on safe winter driving, go to www.mndot.gov.