A winter storm is closing roads and schools around the state and shaping up what's likely to be a difficult commute in the Twin Cities.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation closed three major highways, including Interstate 94 from Moorhead to Alexandria, Hwy. 10 from Moorhead to Audubon and Hwy. 210 from Breckenridge to Fergus Falls.
Schools around the state are also announcing closures this morning, including in Alexandria, Fergus Falls, New Prague, Willmar, Hutchinson and elsewhere.
"The metro area right now has fair conditions, but traffic is starting to pick up and this is the classic, when the snow comes at the beginning and during rush hour, it's going to cause some problems. So, if you're commuting this morning, and you can leave early, that's what you should do. If you can come up with an alternate route that's maybe the less trafficked route, if you will, that might be a good thing to take," said MnDOT spokesman Kevin Gutknecht.
"The wind is blowing so hard that the plow operators can't see," Gutknecht said. "They can't clear the roadway, and obviously neither can motorists see when they're driving. So those roadways are closed at this time."
"When the state closes those interstates in those areas, its very likely that the local systems, the county roads and the city roads are also in very tough condition," Gutnecht said. "The crews will get back out as soon as the visibility improves and get those roads open. But right now, it's just not a good place to be driving.
The State Patrol reminds motorists that drivers can be fined up to $1,000 and sentenced to 90 days in jail for traveling on a road that's closed.