Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

Feb. 6, 2019

Blowing snow forecasted for west central Minnesota, MnDOT reminds drivers to use caution

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. – Blowing snow and heavy snowfall are forecasted for west central Minnesota beginning today and continuing overnight into Thursday. The Minnesota Department of Transportation reminds motorists of the importance of good winter driving habits.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for Clay and Wilkin counties in west central Minnesota, and a Winter Weather Advisory for Becker, Big Stone, Douglas, Grant, Mahnomen, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Swift and Traverse counties. According to the National Weather Service, areas in the warning have the highest chance of whiteout conditions due to blowing snow and widespread snowfall totals of 4 to 6 inches, with isolated snowfall totals of 8 inches or more. MnDOT snowplow crews are on alert and prepared for the potential of blowing snow and ice.

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.
  • Check MnDOT’s road conditions map at www.511mn.org

For additional tips on safe winter driving, go to mndot.gov/workzone/winter.html.

In west central Minnesota there are 61 snowplows that work the state highways in the 12-county MnDOT District 4. During winter weather such as what’s forecasted, MnDOT is likely to deploy two shifts of drivers in the snowplows, who can keep the snowplowing effort going around the clock by working up to 12-hour shifts. In west central Minnesota, MnDOT is in charge of plowing 3,612 lane miles.