WILLMAR (KMHL) – The Minnesota Department of Transportation has closed a stretch of U.S. Highway 14 in southwest Minnesota, and is advising no travel in parts of the region.

According to MnDOT, strong winds and heavy snow have created poor visibility and drifts which are quickly backfilled as soon as they are plowed along many southwest Minnesota highways.

MnDOT says it has closed Highway 14 from Florence to Tracy due to poor visibility, blowing and drifting snow, and vehicles blocking a stretch of the roadway.

The agency says when a road is closed it is illegal to travel in that area — motorists can be fined up to $1,000 and or sentenced to 90 days in jail.

MnDOT also is advising no travel along state roads and highways in:

  • Lyon, Pipestone and Murray counties: all state highways
  • Lincoln County: Highway 19 and all state highways south of Highway 19
  • Redwood County: Highway 14 from Tracy to Sanborn Corner, Highway 19 south and west of Vesta; Highway 68 west of Wabasso
  • Yellow Medicine County: Highway 68 from the state line to Porter; Highway 59 south of Clarkfield; Highway 23 south of Hanley Falls.