BEMIDJI - The Minnesota Department of Transportation is asking drivers in the northwest region of the state to stay off the roads Monday evening.
A press release from MnDOT cites blowing and drifting and snow along with low visibility in issuing its advisory to avoid all unnecessary travel in all or portions ofBeltrami, Kittson, Clearwater, Marshall, Pennington, Polk, Red lake and Roseau counties.
Beryl Wernberg, emergency management director at the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office, sent an email Monday night detailing the poor driving conditions locally. She wrote:
"The winds in Beltrami County, along with snow, have created horrendous driving conditions. Therefore, the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office is requesting that citizens stay home and stay off the roads unless an emergency situation arises.
In the Blackduck and Kelliher areas county roads are not passable unless you are driving a 4 wheel drive truck.
In addition, (Highway) 72 approximately 3 miles north of Blackduck is drifted shut. Presently there are no plows out due to thestrong winds which are causing and will continue to cause problems into the night."
MnDOT also said Monday night that Highway 2 between Crookston and East Grand Forks will remain closed until Tuesday morning. The road was closed Monday afternoon.