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Rain, Snowmelt Cause Headaches for Motorists

March 14, 2019 05:51 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- It's America's longest interstate highway, stretching 3,020 miles from Seattle to Boston. But this week, in southern Minnesota, it's no match for Mother Nature.

"These high temperatures and our heavy snow pack, we're seeing a lot of melting, drainage," said Mike Dougherty of the Minnesota Department of Transportation's District 6.

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Thursday, the impact of a mid-March meltdown put the Interstate 90 on- and off-ramps at U.S. Highway 56 east of Austin underwater.

And it's not just a danger on the interstate.

"We've had some township roads that were under water or close to being under water," said Chief Deputy Mark May of the Mower County Sheriff's Office.

"The culverts, those can get clogged up and sometimes that's the reason why a roadway may be flooding," Dougherty said. "If we can get that drain open, or if the culvert is blocked, get some of that flowing through, then the road could be opened up shortly after that."

Freeborn County is advising limited travel on gravel roads because of ice, standing water or muddy conditions.

"If there's water running across the roadway and you can't see (the road), just turn around," Dougherty said. "You don't know if there's a road below that or if it's washed out. If you're on a road that has some water on it, go at a slower pace. There are some areas where we deem it is OK at that, just to get people to slow down."

That's especially important at night.

"You might not be able to stop quick enough to avoid going in the water," May said. "Be very careful this time of year driving through those areas."

Credits

Dan Conradt

Copyright 2019 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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