Blizzard conditions affect travel in northwestern Minnesota, Dakotas
Drivers were advised not to travel, if possible, in northwestern Minnesota Wednesday.
A blizzard warning for the eastern Dakotas and western Minnesota was posted, as snow, strong winds and plunging temperatures moved in.
The storm created difficult travel conditions early Wednesday and a large number of schools canceled classes, including North Dakota State University and Minnesota State University Moorhead.
According to the Minnesota State Patrol, some roads were closed due to blowing snow causing whiteout conditions.
Limited visibility in WC & NW MN from high winds and blowing snow causing whiteout conditions. This Trooper was parked on the shoulder of Hwy9 north of Hwy10 this morning (2/12/20) before 7am. No travel advised in many of these areas https://t.co/UtVIO3kuBr pic.twitter.com/Pcx4KPIF3j— Sgt. Jesse Grabow (@MSPPIO_NW) February 12, 2020
According to Sgt. Jesse Grabow, with the state patrol, limited visibility was causing problems for drivers and some had gone off the roads.
NW MN – no travel advised https://t.co/UtVIO3kuBr & some roads closed Hwy2 EGF to Crookston & Hwy200 Ada to Hwy75. This semi ran off the road Hwy75 Kittson County (no inj) pic.twitter.com/0Jow1ZAg8u— Sgt. Jesse Grabow (@MSPPIO_NW) February 12, 2020
The National Weather Service in Grand Forks reported Interstate 29 closed from the South Dakota border to the Canadian border due to the weather conditions.
Per the ND DOT: I-29 is now closed from the SD border to the Canadian border. Travel Not Advised continues for the rest of the Red River Valley. #ndwx pic.twitter.com/lWsOoVrCrn— NWS Grand Forks (@NWSGrandForks) February 12, 2020
Chief Morning Meteorologist Ken Barlow said light snow was expected to move into the Twin Cities later Wednesday before temperatures drop. Then, winds could gust as high as 40-50 mph, which will cause blowing and drifting snow and, subsequently, poor driving conditions Wednesday night into Thursday.
MnDOT again posted about difficult travel conditions Wednesday afternoon.
WC/SW MN still seeing blowing snow and reduced visibility. When you get in your vehicle to head home, manually turn those lights on and then take your time. We all want you to arrive home safely. pic.twitter.com/rhKdQdCGYS— MnDOT District 8 (@MnDOTsouthwest) February 12, 2020
The department also urged drivers to traveling Wednesday night or into Thursday morning to take extra precautions due to the strong winds, blowing snow and icy conditions. MnDOT reminded drivers to drive slower, keep headlights on, watch for snowplows and give them 10 cars lengths of space, and to make sure your vehicle is prepared by checking batteries, fuel levels and making sure you have a survival kit packed in case of emergency.
Arctic air, strong winds and more snow headed toward Twin Cities
Barlow said Minnesotans can expect a significant temperature drop Thursday, with the wind making it feel 25 to 30 degrees below zero.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.