Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Minnesota blizzard closes interstates, creates difficult or impossible travel February 24, 2019

Red circles mark road closures in Minnesota as of late morning Sunday. Source: MnDOT 511 website



Here we are, in the midst of another winter storm in southeastern Minnesota. The good news from Faribault: Our snowfall total this morning was not nearly what I expected. About six inches instead of ten. Yahoo. Snow started falling around 6:30 p.m. Saturday and ended sometime early this morning.

I live in town, in a valley. That means my home is sheltered from the brunt of winds that will reach 50 mph this afternoon. Friends who drove into Faribault from the country for 8 a.m. church reported some drifting, but overall decent roads for the weather we’re experiencing.

I expect that to change as the day progresses and wind speeds increase to create drifts and white-out conditions. A blizzard warning remains for southern Minnesota.

Our governor has declared states of emergency in Steele (the neighboring county to my county of Rice) and Freeborn counties.

One look at the Minnesota Department of Transportation website and the severity of this storm and the resulting impossible travels conditions are clear. Every red circle on the map represents a road closure. That includes Interstate 35 from Owatonna to the Iowa border. For awhile the interstate was closed beginning at Faribault. Interstate 90 along the Minnesota-Iowa border. Closed. U.S. Highway 14. Closed. State Highways 60, 30, 15… Closed. I can’t possibly list all of the road closures.

Here’s the deal. Just stay home. It’s not worth risking your life to travel today (outside of city limits) anywhere in southern Minnesota. End of sermon.

TELL ME: If you live in Minnesota, what are conditions like in your area today? Share your weather stories.

© Copyright 2019 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


8 Responses to “Minnesota blizzard closes interstates, creates difficult or impossible travel”

  1. parkerozgood Says:

    We were in Des Moines Friday for the Iowa Wild game and decided to come home yesterday afternoon instead of today! Super smart plan!

  2. Kathleen Cassen Mickelson Says:

    Hi Audrey – Very happy to be in the Twin Cities for this storm, which also didn’t dump as much snow as we expected in our neighborhood. We had a couple of inches and a nice, hefty plow pile at the end of the driveway this morning. We were out in it last night – around midnight – when the snow was coming down heavily and the wind was picking up. That howling wind is making me glad to stay home, too, but I don’t think the roads are too bad around here. We are lucky. There’s plenty to stop the wind from just blowing the snow back across our road.

  3. That map just SCREAMS “STAY HOME” where it is safe and warm. Geez! Sending warmth from FL to You 🙂

  4. Well, if you’d like you can see my blog post for the Rochester story. All major highways “closed” in and out of Rochester. The small roads impassible as the plows can’t keep up. Today we were able to get out, although we still only traveled 35 – 40 MPH on highway 52. The lanes were open but the condition of the road, horrible! Mayo Clinic even sent out a message to employees to stay home, those who could were to stay and work from home today. This of course does not include those of us who care for patient, that’s a no-brainer 🙂

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