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Could Take Days Until Southern Minn. Roads Are Safe

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(credit: CBS) Reg Chapman
Reg Chapman joined WCCO-TV in May of 2009. He came to WCCO fr...
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ALBERT LEA, Minn. (WCCO) – Huge snow drifts and blowing snow greeted many as they woke Friday, the day after a blizzard invaded southern Minnesota.

Truckers who were stranded for the night tried to get an early start only to be blocked by closed roads.

Related: Dayton Issues Emergency Order After Snowstorm

“We probably have 10 foot drifts around the house,” said John Saddlewhite of Albert Lea.

John and his wife, Shirley, packed their bags and golf clubs and made a mad dash for the Interstate 35, trying to go south to Myrtle Beach.

“But we didn’t get too far,” Saddlewhite said.

So they too waited in line for a chance to escape the storm that shut down southern Minnesota.

Those heading north were free to travel, but it wasn’t advised.

Minutes on the road and we understood why. Big rig after big rig was jack knifed on the interstate.

Some even fell into deep snow drifts, so road crews and the State Patrol had their hands full.

Trucker Rob Williams says many semis got caught in Thursday night’s driving wind and blowing snow. Those who braved the ice covered roads Friday were all about defensive driving.

“Expect something,” said Williams. “What’s that man going to do? What’s that woman going to do? Be ready at all time.”

Blowing and drifting snow erased lanes and left a sheet of ice, making driving treacherous. While plows tried to find the blacktop, the State Patrol hoped people would stay off the roads.

As of Friday evening, a travel advisory was still in effect for most of the state. It may take days before the roads are safe to travel.

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