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State Patrol Advises No Travel Through Much of Minnesota - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

State Patrol Advises No Travel Through Much of Minnesota

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UPDATE

The Minnesota State Patrol is advising no travel throughout much of the state due to snow-and-ice-covered roads.  Road conditions have prompted all State Patrol command staff to suspend their daily duties and provide assistance on state highways.

"We're receiving reports from veteran troopers in several areas of the state of conditions that are as bad as they've seen in 25 years," said State Patrol Lt. Col. Matt Langer. "We need motorists to avoid traveling unless it's absolutely necessary. It is simply too dangerous right now and MnDOT needs room to clear the roads of snow and ice."

The State Patrol expects road conditions to remain treacherous for the next several days.

The major winter storm has also prompted Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton to issue Emergency Executive Order 14-06. The Executive Order directs the Minnesota National Guard to assist stranded motorists in affected counties across Minnesota. The executive order, in full, can be found on the Governor's website.

Give Snow Plows Room to Work

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has its plows out on state roadways clearing snow and applying sand and salt.

Motorists who need to travel are advised to give plows room to work and to slow down when encountering plows.

Motorists also are reminded that as temperatures drop, ice may form and create slippery spots. Bridges also may become slippery.

HSEM: Prepare Your Winter Weather Emergency Kit

DPS' Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management urges motorists to create a winter weather emergency kit for their vehicle in case they become stranded. The kit should include:

  • Coffee can and small candles and matches to use to melt snow for drinking water.
  • Brightly colored bandana or cloth to hang from the vehicle window to signal help is needed.
  • Large plastic garbage bags to tie around feet to keep them warm.
  • Safety pins to secure the garbage bags.
  • Whistle to alert authorities.
  • Snacks.
  • Cell phone adapter to plug into lighter.
  • Plastic flashlight and spare batteries.
  • Extra hats, mittens, boots and blankets.

Motorists who are stranded should remain in their vehicle and call 911 for help.

ORIGINAL STORY

MINNEAPOLIS (KARE-11) - Many people are waking up to delayed school starts, canceled airline flights, and another slippery commute during this long cold winter.

MnDOT closed southbound I-35 from Owatonna to the Iowa border, due to several crashes and stranded vehicles. A "No Travel Advisory" was also in place for most of southeastern Minnesota for Friday morning.

The Minnesota State Patrol says since 2:00 p.m. Thursday, troopers responded to 174 crashes, including one fatality.

Xcel officials say over 20,000 customers were without power in the metro. The ultra-heavy snow was straining and breaking several power lines and trees across our region. Xcel had to call in extra crews to help.

Snow started falling in the metro around midday Thursday and will continue through the overnight. Many people at work Thursday hit the highway early to avoid the evening rush and clogged up roads. KARE 11 crews, out and about, spotted several spin outs - including a Metro Transit bus slipping into the ditch in Golden Valley.

Minneapolis, St. Paul and many surrounding suburbs declared snow emergencies.

Schools in southern Minnesota closed Thursday, including Rochester, Winona and Faribault as heavy snow and strong winds moved into the region. Minneapolis Public Schools canceled all after-school and evening activities and meetings because of the weather. Minnesota State, Mankato canceled evening classes.

In Wisconsin, the Department of Transportation reports snow-covered roads in the northwestern part of the state. Roads are ice-covered in central Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Emergency Operations Center says the storm could dump 15 to 18 inches of snow in parts of northwestern Wisconsin by Friday morning. The National Weather Service says snow rates could reach an inch an hour later Thursday and overnight.

Picture Courtesy of: KARE-11

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