By Pat Kessler

ALBERT LEA, Minn. (WCCO) — Southern Minnesota is facing the brunt of the Groundhog Day snowstorm — school was canceled for kids in Rochester and Albert Lea.

I-90 closed Tuesday afternoon because of tough driving conditions, and the State Patrol has issued a no travel warning and closed all state highways in 10 southern Minnesota counties.

Weather conditions deteriorated quickly, with hard winds and blowing snow. Cars and trucks ended up in ditches along I-35 between the two states.

They were conditions too treacherous, even for truckers like Joe Mendoza. He was hauling a load from Arkansas, but had to take shelter along with dozens of other big rigs.

“I had a hard time getting off,” he said. “Slid a half mile down the ramp, because they haven’t plowed it yet.”

Highway plows couldn’t keep up with the fast-moving blizzard conditions. Trucker Byron Graves had good advice for other travelers.

“Just take it easy,” he said.

Pat Kessler

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