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Tonight looks to be a real winter reminder with very tough driving all over Southern to Central Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Transportation has a travel advisory for Becker, Clay, Wilkin, Otter Tail, Traverse, Grant, Douglas, Pope, Stevens, Big Stone and Swift.. The roads around Marshell were closed for most of Monday. A blizzard warning has been posted for a broad area west of a line from Alexandria to Owatonna, and includes Mankato, St. Peter, Willmar and Albert Lea. The near-metro counties of Steele, Le Sueur, Sibley, McLeod and Meeker are covered by the alert. The warning area extends over all of the Red River Valley, all of North Dakota, most of western Iowa and parts of northeastern South Dakota. It will remain in effect until midnight.

To the west, South Dakota officials are closing I-90 between Chamberlain and the Minnesota border and I-29 between Sioux Falls and Watertown. I-29 from Watertown to the North Dakota border also remains closed.

Roads in Iowa were also shut down.

Winter road tips from DPS and MnDOT include:

  • Always use seat belts.

  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly on icy/snow-covered roads to retain traction and avoid skids.

  • Do not use cruise control.

  • Do not “power up” hills, which may cause wheels to spin. Build momentum before reaching a hill and don’t stop while traveling uphill. Reduce speed before going downhill.

  • Know your brakes. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of the foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.

  • Give yourself plenty of travel time. Don’t put your schedule before safety.

  • Clear snow and ice from vehicle windows, hood, headlights, brake lights and directional signals.

  • Headlights must be turned on when it is snowing or sleeting.

Most police officers asked say the key is usually to Just Slow Down.

If you are in an accident, make sure to get the names of anyone who indicates they saw what happened. If you witness an accident, check to see if everyone is OK and stay around or at least give the drivers your contact information. If you are injured, seek the advice of an attorney who does that kind of work and who can explain your coverages and rights.

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