All Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) crews in southwest Minnesota have been out clearing roads since 3 a.m. today (Feb. 20) and plan to continue to plow throughout the day. Roads are completely covered throughout our area, and at the current rate of snowfall, roads may quickly fill back in as soon as they are plowed.

The average snow plow route in southwest Minnesota is 60 miles, roundtrip. Some routes are considerably longer. Plows typically travel at 40-45 miles per hour, but speeds have been cut in half or less in today’s winter storm, considerably increasing the time it can take to plow a route. It will likely take four or more hours for snow plow operators to get through their routes.

MnDOT reminds motorists that if they must travel to exercise patience, and practice good winter driving habits as heavy snow and slippery roads impact travel. Check road conditions at, and remember to:

• Manually turn your headlights on and cruise control off.

• Slow down to a safe speed for current conditions.

• 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.

• Concentrate on driving and avoid distractions while behind the wheel.

For additional tips on safe winter driving, go to

Photo courtesy of the Internet Public Domain