ALBERT LEA, Minn. – Hazardous weather conditions are forcing the closure of a major section of interstate in southern Minnesota. The Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office says the National Guard Armory at 410 Prospect Avenue in Albert Lea will be open for shelter.
What follows is the full text of a statement issued by the Minnesota Department of Transportation:
Interstate 90 west of Albert Lea closed
ROCHESTER, Minn. – (5:25 p.m.) 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:
- Check road conditions at www.511mn.org or call 511; it takes time to get roads back to good driving conditions.
- Be patient and remember snowplows are working to improve road conditions for your trip.
- Stay back at least five car lengths behind the plow, far from the snow cloud.
- Stay alert for snowplows that turn or exit frequently and often with little warning. They may also travel over centerlines or partially in traffic to further improve road conditions.
- Slow down to a safe speed for current conditions. Snowplows typically move at slower speeds.
For additional tips on safe winter driving, go to www.mndot.gov/workzone.