Low visibility, whiteout conditions shut down Minnesota highways

Low visibility, whiteout conditions shut down Minnesota highways

Low visibility and whiteout conditions caused a shutdown of several Minnesota highways on Wednesday, a situation that proved difficult for motorists and transportation authorities alike.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) closed multiple highways due to hazardous winter weather, including Interstate 35 and Interstate 90. MnDOT spokesperson J.T. Hanson reported that areas of diminished visibility, accompanied by accumulations of snow, necessitated the closures.

“The combination of those two factors can make it very difficult for drivers to see and remain safe,” Hanson said. “We want to make sure all of our roads are being used safely.”

The closures prompted MnDOT to issue travel advisories, cautioning against unnecessary travel and imploring drivers to use extra caution.

“It’s important that our roads remain safe, so we do take these types of closures seriously,” Hanson said.

MnDOT crews worked diligently to remove accumulations of snow and clear roads, but the whiteout conditions caused delays.

“When these conditions are present it’s really hard to get a handle on it,” Hanson said. “We are working as quickly as possible to make sure our roads are safe for drivers.”

The weather presented unique challenges for drivers.

“It’s definitely a difficult situation,” said motorist Joe Johnson. “You can’t see, so it’s hard to make out the lanes and other cars. I think it’s best to just stay off the roads in these types of conditions.”

The hazardous weather may have been challenging, but Hanson was confident that MnDOT was doing all that it could to ensure safety.

“It’s a difficult situation, but we’re doing our best to make sure our highways stay safe,” Hanson said.