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Whiteout conditions, drifting causing road closures near Twin Cities metro

No-travel advisories and closures are plaguing Minnesota roads.

1:45 P.M. UPDATE

Even though the snow has mostly stopped in the metro area, traveling outside of the heart of the Twin Cities is extremely dangerous in many places due to whiteout conditions and drifting snow. 

Both directions of Hwy. 95 in the Afton/Woodbury area are closed as of 1:45 p.m. due to whiteout conditions. To the south of Rosemount, Hwy. 3 is closed in both directions because of the same issues, and a multi-vehicle crash coupled with whiteout conditions has shut down both directions of Hwy. 52 near Hampton. 

Check MnDOT's road conditions map before heading out anywhere in the southern two-thirds of the state. As you can see in the map below, dozens of roads are closed in addition to no-travel advisories being posted. 

For example, Hwy. 7 and Hwy. 12 are essentially impossible to navigate from just west of the Twin Cities all the way to the South Dakota border. No-travel advisories have been posted for much of those stretches. 

7:30 A.M.

You might want to think twice before heading out onto the roads in Minnesota today.

Overnight snow – which continues to fall heavily on Thursday – has combined with strong wind gusts to create blizzard and whiteout conditions across Minnesota.

Earlier Thursday morning, all lanes were blocked on I-94 at Albertville after a semi-trailer jack-knifed, bringing traffic to a stop for two hours.

And all major roads are closed in a vast area of southwest Minnesota due to treacherous whiteout conditions.

Crashes and closures on Minnesota roads as of 8:30 a.m.

Crashes and closures on Minnesota roads as of 8:30 a.m.

"No-travel" advisories are also in place southwest of the Twin Cities – in the Henderson-Hutchinson-Hector areas – which includes a stretch of Hwy. 169 east of Henderson.

Multiple spinouts and crashes have also been reported in the Twin Cities during the morning commute, though traffic isn't as bad as would usually be expected because school has been canceled across the metro area.

In southern Minnesota, strong winds touching 40-55 mph have been bringing down power lines, closing roads as a result.

Interstate 90 near Alden was shut down for 20 minutes after a power line was dislodged and was dropping down towards the pavement.

As of 8:25 a.m., Xcel Energy said more than 10,000 homes were without power in Minnesota, while the People's Energy Cooperative – covering parts of southern Minnesota – was reporting more than 2,400 customers without power.

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