Skip to main content

More than 600 people rescued from vehicles stranded in southern Minnesota

There's a county-by-county list showing how many people were rescued.
small unit support vehicle

A small unit support vehicle brings stranded motorists to a shelter in southern Minnesota. 

Law enforcement and the Minnesota National Guard have been working overtime as they continue to rescue stranded motorists whose vehicles spun off the roads or slammed into massive drifts during the weekend blizzard. 

Minnesota Homeland Security & Emergency Management reports that more than 600 motorists have been rescued in southern Minnesota. Steele County had more than 200 of the 600 rescues, which are broken down by county below. 

  • Steele County: 200+
  • Freeborne County: 82 (plus 7 people stranded on trains)
  • Mower County: 50+
  • Winona County: 50+
  • Le Sueur County: 46
  • Fillmore County: 38
  • Renville County: 33
  • Rice County: 30
  • Chippewa County: 21
  • Swift County: 20
  • Stevens County: 12
  • Lyon County: 10
  • Watonwan County: 10
  • Cottonwood County: 8
  • Brown County: 5

The report notes that 150 vehicles went off the roads in Blue Earth County, but the number of rescues there weren't provided. 

Travel conditions are slowly but surely improving, but many roads remain closed, primarily in southeast Minnesota where the heaviest snow fell during the powerful winter storm.

"Plows crews are out making progress but please understand that it will take some time for roads to become passable again," Minnesota Homeland Security & Emergency Management said in a noon update on Facebook. "Not only will the snow need to be cleared, but many vehicles will have to be towed before roads will be safe to drive."

Trains, military "tank" also stuck

The department said hundreds of people remain sheltered and that a small unit support vehicle from the Minnesota National Guard was en route to rescue railroad workers who were stranded on two trains in Freeborn County.

As efficient as the military vehicles are, even they can become stranded, as one did near Wabasha.

"There is currently a tank, yes a literal military tank that got stuck on our roads last night when the National Guard was trying to help stranded motorists. If a tank cannot make it you probably should not try," Wabasha Police Department said in a Facebook post around 6 a.m. Monday.

The number of people sheltered is staggering:

  • Steele County National Guard Armory — 187 people sheltered.
  • Steele County Trinity Lutheran Church — 53 people sheltered.
  • Ellendale shelter — 30 people sheltered.
  • Blooming Prairie shelter — 15 people sheltered.
  • Freeborn County National Guard Armory — 46 people sheltered.

You can check the latest road conditions right here

Next Up

Kim Crockett

Endorsed candidate's campaign video used antisemitic trope at MN GOP convention

The video aired before GOP-backed secretary of state candidate Kim Crockett's speech at the state party convention.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, May 18

More than 2,000 new cases in today's report.

Thomas Lane

Ex-cop Thomas Lane pleads guilty to manslaughter in George Floyd killing

The former Minneapolis police officer appeared in court on Wednesday morning.

14 W Main St, Anoka, MN 55303, United States - September 2021

2 dead after driver flees cop in Coon Rapids, crashes in Anoka

The double-fatal crash happened on Main Street near Ferry Street in Anoka.

Adam Hunter Pattishall.

Fleeing suspect charged in crash that left husband dead, wife critical

Daniel Joseph Fisher, 57, died from multiple blunt force injuries in a crash Sunday. His wife, Cathleen, is in critical condition as of Tuesday.

storm, severe weather

Threat of severe weather returns to Minnesota for 2 days

Isolated severe storms Wednesday, followed by scattered severe storms Thursday.

ambulance

1 dead, 2 injured in crash at intersection in Ramsey

The crash happened at the intersection of Bunker Lake Blvd. and Sunfish Lake Blvd.

Tettegouche State Park bridge

Trails reopen as waters subside, but bridges damaged at Tettegouche State Park

Water levels on the river have dropped about six to eight feet since Friday.

Keith Harvell

Body pulled from Mississippi River ID'd as missing Elk River man

Keith Harvell had been missing since early last month.

900 W Broadway Ave, Minneapolis, Minnesota - July 2021

2 victims identified in double-fatal north Minneapolis shooting

A 21-year-old man and a 51-year-old man were identified as the people who died at the scene this past weekend.

Proctor football

Former Proctor HS football player pleads guilty to sexual assault of teammate

The case will also remain in juvenile court, with conditions.

Related

Snow Rochester drift stranded

Disastrous road conditions leave motorists stranded in southern MN

Countless spinouts and crashes have been reported.

Screen Shot 2019-02-25 at 1.37.19 PM

Video: Driver films pileup on blizzard-stricken ghost highway

Even trains and a military "tank" got stuck in the snow.

snow, drift, blowing snow, roads closed

Roads remain shut down in southern Minnesota Monday morning

Drifts are nearly as high as silos in parts of southern Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2019-03-25 at 3.09.54 PM

Vehicle crashes into river from I-35, search for survivors underway

It happened south of Owatonna at the Straight River.

water rescue in Lac qui Parle County

Couple rescued from flooding after ignoring road closed sign

It happened in western Minnesota, about 150 miles from the Twin Cities.

Stranded kayakers rescued on the Cloquet River

They got stuck in a swampy area of the northern Minnesota river.

boating minnesota lake

8 people rescued from lake after speedboat's motor tears off

The boat immediately took on water and began to sink.