(KARE 11) — The Minnesota Department of Transportation is warning many drivers to avoid driving on the roads due to hazardous conditions.
Southern Minnesota and parts of the south metro are under a blizzard warning until at least 6 p.m. Sunday.
Most highways in southern Minnesota are under a no-travel advisory.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz declared a state of emergency and ordered the Minnesota National Guard to help stranded motorists. And Minnesota Homeland Security is asking southern Minnesota residents to “shelter in place,” and if they are stranded on the road, to stay in their vehicle and wait for help.
So far, National Guard members have helped save nearly 75 people.
Nearly 50 people are being sheltered at the National Guard Armory in Albert Lea. They were rescued on snowy roads, according to Freeborn County Emergency Manager, Rich Hall.
The Owatonna Armory is housing 24 people stranded by the blizzard conditions.
MnDOT says Interstate 35 is closed from Owatonna to the Iowa border and Interstate 90 is closed from Dexter in Mower County west, due to poor driving conditions with blowing and drifting snow.
The storm is affecting more than just areas of Minnesota. It is also causing traffic issues in Wisconsin.
Authorities say one person is dead and several others injured after a pileup on an interstate in east-central Wisconsin.
The crash happened Sunday amid whiteout conditions on southbound Interstate 41 near Neenah. The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office confirms one fatality and says several other injured people have been taken to hospitals.
WBAY-TV reports Neenah police said buses were being used to get people off the highway and to safe locations.The highway remains closed in that area. Authorities are asking drivers to avoid the area.
The National Weather Service says Lewiston and Kellogg got a foot of snow overnight. Rochester and Wabasha were hit with 11 inches. Other cities’ snowfalls: Austin and Winona got 10 inches, Albert Lea with 6 inches, Red Wing with 5.5 and Burnsville with 2.8 inches.
Minneapolis and Saint Paul both declared snow emergencies at the same time, just before 1 p.m. Sunday, both taking effect at 9 Sunday night.