MnDOT says drivers should change travel plans

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(ABC 6 News) – With a major winter storm heading towards our area, holiday travel will be seeing major impacts.

Many drivers originally planned to hit the road on Thursday or Friday, now anticipated to be the two worst days to travel.

The current forecast is calling for dangerous, if not impossible driving conditions at times, heading into the holiday weekend.

With the extreme cold accompanying the storm, should you be stranded while traveling, there’s no telling if or when you’ll be rescued. It could be a life-threatening situation.

“Really just alter your travel plans. If you were looking to travel Wednesday, Thursday, Friday into Saturday, make some adjustments because it’s better to have a late celebration than a tragedy,” says Mike Dougherty, MnDot Director of Public Engagement and Communications.

We could be seeing four to seven inches of snow in our area, and snow plow drivers are preparing to work 12-hour shifts through the holiday weekend.

Low visibility, drifting, and strong wind gusts are expected, and Dougherty says there have been times in the past when conditions have gotten dangerous to the point where even the snow plows had to be called off the roads.

“You start to go ‘well, if the snowplows are sliding off the road, that’s not going to help any’, and that puts our people at risk,” says Dougherty.

“They will keep assessing the conditions, what’s happening out there in the field, but for now the plan is to have our 102 snow plows in Southeast Minnesota on the state highways around the clock, pretty much until we get everything clear and we’re back to the bare pavement which is going to be a few days.”