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Interstate 90's westbound entrance from U.S. 59 was closed when this photo was taken at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 7. (Kari Lucin/Daily Globe)

Interstate 90 to remain closed until Friday

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Worthington,Minnesota 56187 http://www.dglobe.com/sites/default/files/styles/square_300/public/fieldimages/4/0711/i90closed.jpg?itok=1Kg2ejGi
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Interstate 90 to remain closed until Friday
Worthington Minnesota 300 11th Street / P.O. Box 639 56187

3:51 p.m. Thursday Update

MANKATO - Interstate 90 and all state highways in southwest Minnesota will remain closed until Friday, the Minnesota Department of Transportation said.

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In addition, the area of closed highways in southwest Minnesota will be expanded, and will include Brown, Faribault, Martin and Watonwan counties. State highways were already closed in Cottonwood, Jackson, Nobles and Rock counties.

Interstate 90 westbound will close at Albert Lea by 5 p.m.

High winds are causing zero visibility and heavy drifts that snowplow drivers are unable to keep clear.

Snowplow operators will resume plowing when winds subside and visibility improves.

Motorists should plan accordingly, the Dept. of Transportation stated. When a road is closed it is illegal to travel in that area. Motorists can be fined up to $1,000 and/or 90 days in jail. In addition, if travelers need to be rescued from a closed road, other expenses and penalties will apply.

Motorists are advised not to travel until conditions improve.

11:25 a.m. Update

WORTHINGTON, Minn. (AP) -- Interstate 90 has now been closed from Fairmont west across southwestern Minnesota and into South Dakota.

Minnesota Department of Transportation spokeswoman Rebecca Arndt says extremely high winds are causing zero visibility and heavy drifts that snowplow drivers are unable to clear away.

All highways in Cottonwood, Jackson, Nobles and Rock counties of southwestern Minnesota are also closed due to the storm, including Highway 60 from St. James west and Highway 71 from Sanborn south.

The Minnesota State Patrol reports more than 130 crashes and more than 130 vehicles going off the roads Thursday morning, though no serious injuries and no fatalities.

Some parts of southwestern Minnesota have received 8.5 inches of snow so far.

11:07 a.m. Update

WINDOM - The Minnesota Department of Transportation has closed the westbound side of Interstate 90 from Fairmont west, and I-90 is also closed throughout South Dakota.

In Worthington, the YMCA, Northland Mall, and Avalon have all closed for the day.

All highways in Cottonwood, Jackson, Nobles and Rock counties have also been closed this morning due to extremely high winds causing zero visibility and heavy drifts that the snowplow drivers are unable to keep clear. Minnesota 60 is closed from St. James west; U.S. 71 is closed from Sanborn south.

All southwest Minnesota highways will remain closed until further notice.

Motorists should plan accordingly. When a road is closed it is illegal to travel in that area. Motorists can be fined up to $1,000 and/or 90 days in jail. In addition, if travelers need to be rescued from a closed road, other expenses and penalties will apply.

Weather alerts

A winter storm warning will be in effect until 3 p.m. today.

A wind chill warning will be in effect from 3 p.m. today until noon Friday.

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