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Road Conditions Strand Truckers Overnight

Posted at: 02/21/2014 5:44 PM
By: John Doetkott

(ABC 6 News) -- On Friday evening, roads were still considered impassable in many areas, with ice and blowing snow causing problems, especially for those who make a living on the road.

At the Watts truck stop in Austin, dozens of truck drivers were forced to wait until roads cleared, saying making their deadlines isn't worth risking their lives.

"I'm supposed to be in Toma, Wisconsin, but with the road conditions the way they are, I doubt it," said Randy Wurst, a truck driver. "It's not going to happen."

Wurst is just one of many who saw their plans get derailed by the extreme weather, costing them both time and money.

"It's taken me four hours to go 120 miles to get here," Wurst said. "It takes away from my hours of service, which means i'm going to be losing money on the deal."

"We finally got off the road after 70 miles there, it took four hours," said Lynn Rice, another truck driver. "We stopped for four or five hours and just getting started back up."

With higways closed throughout the area, many said while they were disappointed with the time lost, they know going in the ditch would have cost them much more.

"It looks like a junkyard out there. The medians and ditches are filled with cars, trucks, you name it, it's in there," Wurst said. "You just had to hope that the guy in front of you was on the road because if he wasn't, you weren't going to be on the road either."

And while the worst of the weather hit Thursday, drivers said roads were still dangerous well into Friday evening.

"I still don't recommend driving today," Wurst said. "Even though the sun is out, nice clear sky, that don't mean conditions are going to be any better."

"Roads are bad," Rice said bluntly. "You shouldn't be on them if you don't have to be, that's the bottom line."

While most highways re-opened by Friday evening, MnDOT was still showing hazardous driving conditions along most major routes, and urging everyone to take caution.