MnDOT Cautions Motorists in Northwest Region Due to Winter Storm
People may have hoped the ongoing winter storm in northern Minnesota would be some kind of late April Fool’s day joke. However, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, this blizzard is no laughing matter, as on Wednesday morning, a no travel advisory was placed upon the Northwest Region.
“We’re all affected when a snow storm comes through like this, you know, whether it’s school cancellations, or can’t get to work, or plans have changed, events have been cancelled,” said MnDOT District 2 Public Affairs Correspondent Leslie Seitz. “It’s all challenging for all of us.”
MnDOT hopes that by placing these restrictions and by giving out warnings, accidents could be prevented, as according to the Minnesota State Patrol, Tuesday alone saw State Troopers responding to over 27 crashes in the Northwest and Central West regions of Minnesota.
“We care just as much. It’s very meaningful to us,” explained MnDOT District 2 Public Engagement Correspondent TJ Melcher. “When we pass along these messages, you know, they’re heartfelt and it’s because this is our community, you know, we wanna make sure that everyone stays safe themselves as well.”
The no travel advisory was lifted Wednesday afternoon, but the public is still being urged to keep off the roads if possible for the next few days while MnDOT continues their clean-up efforts.
“Really from a highway maintenance perspective, it’s much much easier to plow snow when there aren’t vehicles on the highway,” said Melcher.
Of course, many need to trek out into the snow during this weather, and for those needing to make the trip, MnDOT has offered some advice.
“If you do have to travel: Plan ahead. You know you gotta slow down, it’s gonna take you longer to get there, it’s gonna be slippery out and if something bad happens you wanna be prepared,” said Melcher.
“Making sure you’re wearing your seat belt, keep your headlights on, make sure that you stay back from the plows at least ten car lengths, and really paying attention to the road not being distracted, and being aware of other drivers as well,” added Seitz.
Wednesday afternoon also saw MnDOT warn motorists of whiteout road conditions along Highway 371 near Hole-In-The-Day Bay north of Brainerd.
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