Southeast Minnesota braces for first major snowstorm of the season

(ABC 6 News) – A major snowstorm is headed our way Friday.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation has teams ready to go. Mike Dougherty with MnDOT said their snowplow operators have a game plan to tackle this snowstorm. What he’s asking of drivers is to take it easy on the roads and if you see a snowplow, give them space.

"If you see a snowplow out there, stay back from it. We advise at least ten vehicle lengths to stay back from it. It’s a safe distance, so if it does room, you have time to maneuver, slow down, do whatever you need to do and that helps everybody," Dougherty said.

Mike Dougherty and his team at MnDOT say they are ready for this snowstorm. Dougherty says 101 snowplows will be on the roads in our area, and there will be shifts of drivers who can keep snowplowing efforts going around the clock.

If you plan to hit the roads, Dougherty says plan ahead.

"Be prepared. Look at your trip tomorrow, is it necessary? Maybe adjust your travel time," Dougherty said.

MnDOT isn’t alone when it comes to planning ahead. The manager at Hy-Vee Crossroads says they’ve been busy all day as people are preparing for the snowstorm.

And two people from Iowa I talked to visiting Mayo Clinic say they can’t wait to get home. Most likely making the trip after the storm.

"I’d rather see you guys get it than us! Dress warm and play it safe," Jon Hackman said.

If you happen to get stuck, there are already helpers standing by. Alex Wees posted on Facebook saying that he’ll recover your vehicle in his truck should you slide off the road. Completely free.

"If everyone cooperates and follows those rules that you’ve learned in driving school, we can have a safe winter," Dougherty said.

Dougherty said you can always check 511 on road conditions before you head out.