Disastrous road conditions leave motorists stranded in southern Minnesota

Countless spinouts and crashes have been reported.
Author:
Publish date:
Snow Rochester drift stranded

Cars are stranded on Hwy. 14 west of Rochester. 

UPDATE 12:45 P.M.

There are reports of absolutely nightmarish conditions on the roads in southern Minnesota, with the majority of major routes closed down due to blizzard conditions and deep snowdrifts.

Pictures are emerging of vehicles stranded in heavy snow around Rochester, with the picture above being sent to us by Sarah Donahoe, who commented: "It's insane down here."

Meanwhile the Minnesota 511 traffic alert site shows dozens of ongoing spinouts, stalls and crashes across the southern portion of the state.

The shutdown of I-90 has been extended to the Wisconsin border, stretching all the way to Lakefield in the west. 

I-35 is still closed from Faribault to the Iowa border, while other roads that are shutdown include US-52, MN-15, and US-63, among many more.

Screen Shot 2019-02-24 at 12.32.39 PM

Late last night, Gov. Tim Walz issued a peacetime state of emergency, scrambling the Minnesota National Guard to go out and rescue stranded motorists.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation reports that snowdrifts are as high as 6 feet, and not only are cars getting stuck, but its snowplows are too.

Counties in affected areas are pleading with motorists not to go out, with conditions so bad in, for example, Waseca County, the county is keeping its snowplows off the roads until conditions improve.

SUNDAY 9 A.M.

High winds whipping around heavy snow that fell Saturday night through Sunday morning in southern Minnesota has created extremely dangerous driving conditions. 

Interstate 90 west of I-35 was closed late Saturday, and around 3 a.m. the Minnesota Department of Transportation closed I-35 from Faribault all the way to the Iowa border, in addition to numerous roads being closed where blizzard conditions are being experienced.

Because of the impossible driving conditions, Freeborn and Steele counties requested assistance from the Minnesota National Guard to help rescue stranded motorists, and the request was met with approval from Governor Tim Walz, who declared a peacetime state of emergency. 

Troops were activated in those counties to conduct search and rescue missions for people stranded in their vehicles. The National Guard uses a small unit support vehicle with tracks on it that allows it to get through roads that have become impassable due to blowing and drifting snow. 

At least three people were rescued late Saturday night, according to Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management.    

Bottom line: everyone in southern Minnesota is being encouraged to stay off the roads if at all possible until driving conditions improve. 

As of 7:15 a.m., there are widespread no travel advisories (purple) and at least 10 state highways closed (red buttons). 

The pink and blue mean roads are completely covered (pink) or partially covered (blue) in snow.

The pink and blue mean roads are completely covered (pink) or partially covered (blue) in snow.

These are roads that have been closed by MnDOT. 

  • I-90 between Ceylon and Welcome
  • MN 86 from Jackson to Sherburne
  • I-35 from Faribault to the Iowa state line
  • US 14 from near Eagle Lake to Waterville
  • MN 4 from Sherburne to near FAirmont
  • US 169 from Amboy to the Iowa state line
  • MN 254 between County Rd. 17 and I-90
  • MN 253 between County Rd. 2 and I-90
  • MN 22 from near Wells to the Iowa state line
  • MN 15 from near Fairmont to the Iowa state line

Click here to get the latest road conditions from MnDOT, although driving conditions aren't expected to improve much until the winds die down Sunday evening. 

The blizzard warning remains in effect until 6 p.m. Sunday. 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-08-03 at 7.50.23 AM

Hunt for man wanted for murder of 20-year-old woman in Austin

The victim has been identified as Tyesha Tahne Gills.

police tape, crime scene

Police say man shot dead after dispute in north Minneapolis

The shooting happened at a residence along North Dupont Avenue.

Screen Shot 2021-07-30 at 10.55.37 AM

Bespoke office space for changing times, courtesy of Redbrick Commercial Real Estate

Redbrick Commercial Real Estate specializes in innovative and sustainable office spaces.

coronavirus, covid-19, icu

MN up to 45 counties with high or substantial COVID-19 transmission

Delta is leading to more cases – and more severe cases – involving children in other states.

Screen Shot 2021-05-23 at 9.08.48 AM

University of St. Thomas latest to require vaccines for students, staff

The college had previously offered incentives to get vaccinated, but is now mandating them.

Pixabay - crowd park outdoors CROP

New forecast predicts more than 4 million Twin Cities residents by 2050

The Met Council believes job opportunities will also steadily grow.

Mike Zimmer

Zimmer on unvaccinated players: 'Some of the things they've read are just, woof, out there'

The coach says he's doesn't understand why some players won't get vaccinated.

Ramsey County - Karina Her booking photo crop 2

Charges: St. Paul woman killed ex-husband, buried him in her back yard

A woman is accused of fatally shooting her ex-husband and burying him in the yard.

Screen Shot 2021-08-02 at 8.02.46 AM

Riverview Cafe in south Minneapolis closes, plans to 'reassess' its future

The cafe and wine bar was open in the Longfellow neighborhood for 23 years.

Related

snow, drift, blowing snow, roads closed

Roads remain shut down in southern Minnesota Monday morning

Conditions are expected to improve throughout the day.

Blizzard made travel nearly impossible in parts of Minnesota

Travel was nearly impossible in northwest, west-central, southwest and south-central Minnesota on Thursday night.

small unit support vehicle

600+ rescued from stranded vehicles; trains, 'tank' also stuck

There's a county-by-county list showing how many people were rescued.

Screen Shot 2019-03-14 at 9.41.51 AM

Blizzard shuts down interstates in ND, leaves motorists stranded

Hundreds of miles of I-94 and I-29 are closed due to the conditions.

Screen Shot 2019-02-23 at 8.55.57 PM

Whiteout conditions close I-90, I-35 in southern Minnesota

A 90-mile stretch of I-90 remains closed because of the ongoing blizzard.

Screen Shot 2020-12-23 at 7.55.07 PM

Walz activates National Guard to help blizzard-stranded motorists

A number of motorists have been stranded in Renville County.

Sheriff releases insane video of whiteout conditions in MN

If you thought driving in the Twin Cities was bad this week, check this out.

Screen Shot 2020-02-09 at 7.46.03 AM

Dangerous driving conditions as snow hammers Minnesota

No travel is advised in nine southwest Minnesota counties.