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State Patrol and MnDOT: Stay off the roads; conditions could be treacherous for several days

A Mower County Sheriff's Department SUV sits with a car facing north on the southbound lane of 218 just before the I-90 exit Friday afternoon. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

A Mower County Sheriff’s Department SUV sits with a car facing north on the southbound lane of 218 just before the I-90 exit Friday afternoon. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

The Minnesota State Patrol and Minnesota Department of Transportation are both advising no travel throughout much of the state due to snow-and-ice-covered roads.

Road conditions have prompted all State Patrol command staff to suspend  daily duties and provide assistance on state highways, according to a press release.

“We’re receiving reports from veteran troopers in several areas of the state of conditions that are as bad as they’ve seen in 25 years,” said State Patrol Lt. Col. Matt Langer in the release. “We need motorists to avoid traveling unless it’s absolutely necessary. It is simply too dangerous right now and MnDOT needs room to clear the roads of snow and ice.”

The State Patrol expects road conditions to remain treacherous for the next several days.

Travel is limited on most highways in southeastern Minnesota. Drifting and compacted snow is making many highways in southeastern Minnesota dangerous, sometimes limiting traffic to a single lane, according to MnDOT.

As of around 11:45 a.m., southbound Interstate 35 from Owatonna to Albert Lea remained closed, while Interstate 35 from Albert Lea to the Iowa border was open. Interstate 90 has re-opened between Dexter and Austin. The stretch of I-90 from the Stewartville-Highway 63 exit south of Rochester west to Dexter was, but crews expected it to open soon.