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60 MPH Winds Create Havoc in Southeast MN and Northern IA Roads

Posted at: 01/26/2014 7:07 PM

Snowdrifts and strong winds make for dangerous driving conditions on the roads.
Snowdrifts and strong winds make for dangerous driving conditions on the roads.
Photo: Becky W.

(ABC 6 News) -- Emergency crews and tow trucks are overwhelmed with calls from people who are stuck in ditches. 

Authorities are busy helping people, getting them out of their cars and moving them out of harm's way.

According to Dodge County Sheriff, Highway 14 this afternoon had a white out, zero visibility condition causing a three car pile up and another car to go into the ditch. 

According to MnDOT a snowplow was involved in a car crash on Highway 63 on North Broadway in Rochester this afternoon.

MnDOT have issued a no travel warning and officials are telling people to stay off the roads.

Interstate 90 west of Albert Lea is closed, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The gates to I-90 west are being closed because winter conditions west of Albert Lea have prompted MnDOT to pull its equipment off the roads in that region. MnDOT wants to ensure that travelers do not go west on the interstate. MnDOT will announce when the interstate re-opens.

The no travel advisory for all of southeastern Minnesota continues because of hazardous driving conditions with blowing snow and reduced visibility.

The advisory is for Rice, Steele, Dodge, Mower, Freeborn, Goodhue, Olmsted, Fillmore, Houston, Winona and Wabasha counties.

A number of roads in the region have been downgraded to hazardous driving conditions. It’s possible more will be downgraded to hazardous as winds and drifting continue. More reports are being received on vehicle crashes. Two MnDOT snowplow in southeastern Minnesota have been struck by vehicles during today’s storm.

Officials do not anticipate any other interstate or highway closures at this time; however, motorists may encounter brief lane and road closures where crashes occur.

MnDOT snowplow operators are doing their part to make highways safe. Motorists should remember to:

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