Snow, high winds wreak havoc on area roads

Blowing snow caused poor road conditions on Highway 14 near Nicollet - February 12, 2018

(Rochester, MN) – Approximately five inches of snow fell on Mankato area roadways Monday night into Tuesday morning, making commutes difficult on roads already suffering from a relentless winter spell.

According to KEYC News 12 Chief Meteorologist Mark Tarello, about 17.5 inches of snow has fallen in Mankato so far in February.

Tuesday morning in Mankato, a spinout crash on Highway 14 just east of the Highway 169 interchange locked up traffic while law enforcement cleared the roadway.  And a semi crash on Highway 60 near Madison Lake kept cars waiting as crews worked to pull the tractor-trailer from the ditch.

Car off-road on Highway 14 about 3 miles east of Courtland

When the snow stopped, the winds picked up, with gusts of up to 30 miles per hour whipping the freshly fallen flakes into a frenzy, creating visibility concerns in open rural areas.  The Minnesota State Patrol said in a tweet that there were 42 crashes reported – two with injuries – and 126 vehicles that went off-road between 4:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Multiple SMN readers commented on social media that conditions on Highway 14 from Waseca all the way to Courtland were treacherous.  A semi was observed off-road between Nicollet and Courtland, and social media comments indicated that multiple vehicles were in ditches off Highway 14 in the long stretch of road between Waseca and Nicollet.

A melt-off on the messy roads isn’t likely anytime soon.  Windchills are expected to be frigid Wednesday, with gusty winds again likely on Thursday.  The next possibility for snow will is on Saturday night.

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