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MnDOT urges motorists to plan ahead for pending snow storm

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Motorists traveling in Minnesota Wednesday afternoon through early Friday should prepare for a snow storm that will result in hazardous road conditions, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Heavy and drifting snow, ice accumulations and blizzard conditions means motorists should plan ahead, slow down and give the snowplows room to work.

The National Weather Service indicates snowfall amounts could reach up to 15 inches or more across central Minnesota along and southwest of the Interstate 94 corridor. The NWS issued a blizzard warning for west central and southwest Minnesota, a winter storm warning for areas north and west of the Twin Cities metro area and a winter weather advisory for the Twin Cities and southeast Minnesota.

“When there’s heavy snowfall and strong winds, travel is difficult,” said Todd Stevens, state maintenance engineer. “Expect the Thursday morning and afternoon commutes to be challenging. MnDOT crews will be out plowing the snow as conditions allow, but the wind will bring significant blowing and drifting making visibility difficult for plow drivers and motorists.”

MnDOT urges motorists to either delay travel plans or, if they must drive, plan ahead and drive according to the road conditions. MnDOT snowplow operators will do their part to make highways safe and motorists should remember to:

-Stay alert for snowplows, which turn or exit frequently and often with little warning. They also may travel over centerlines or partially in traffic to further improve road conditions.

-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.

-Don’t drive distracted.

For real-time traffic and travel information in Minnesota, visit 511mn.org or get the free smartphone app at Google Play or the App Store.

Motorists can also check traffic impacts at MnDOT’s Twitter account at @mndotnews. For MnDOT’s regional Twitter accounts, go to http://www.mndot.gov/socialmedia/index.html.

The extended winter could delay work on some construction projects. MnDOT will work with contractors as the season progress to manage any schedule issues.

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