By Jeff Wagner

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Sunshine, blue skies and clear pavement greeted us as we headed south from Minneapolis down Interstate 35W.

But as we traveled further away from the metro, road conditions grew worse with blowing snow as the dangerous common denominator across southern Minnesota.

READ MORE: At Duluth's Rose Garden, Thousands Of Vibrant Flowers Are Uniquely Situated On Lake Superior's Shore

“I’ve been in it before, I just know when to stop and when to stay stopped,” Truck driver Gary Adams said.

Adams has been parked at this rest stop since Saturday night, but he’s one of the few who opted to stick around longer instead of venture down the snow-covered interstate, where abandoned vehicles were buried in drifts.

“It was full last night, but a lot of them started pulling out this morning right after daylight, and then off and on all day they pulled out,” Adams said. “But they’re not going anywhere because the road’s closed south of here.”

As the sun set near Northfield, visibility got more difficult.

READ MORE: COVID Community Test Sites In Mpls., St. Paul, Bloomington To Close By End Of The Week

A stretch of Highway 3 was closed as a tow truck driver battled snow-filled wind gusts to get a crashed car out of a ditch.

(credit: CBS)

A Minnesota Department of Transportation spokesman says just because you see a plow or tow truck on a closed road doesn’t mean you’re clear to drive on it.

“With the wind blowing like it is, if you get stranded somewhere, that could be a very serious problem,” MnDOT spokesperson Kevin Gutknecht said.

The next concern for drivers is black ice. Blowing snow could hide the slick spots – another reason to heed this experienced truck driver’s warning.

“Stay off the road when it’s too bad to drive on, don’t risk it,” Adams said.

MORE NEWS: Twin Cities Among Metro Areas Included In Biden Plan To Curb Violent Crime

Some closed roads don’t have a sign or barrier on the road physically stopping people from driving on them, so be sure to check the 511 app or website – even Google Maps – that way you’ll know which roads are listed as too dangerous to drive or closed.

Jeff Wagner