UNDATED (WJON News) -- Governor Tim Walz issued an executive order declaring a peacetime emergency to provide National Guard assistance to stranded motorists in Southwestern Minnesota.

This week’s powerful winter storm with heavy snowfall, strong winds, and extreme cold temperatures has created blizzard conditions in Minnesota, closing roads and threatening public safety.

These dangerous conditions have resulted in stranded vehicles, placing lives and property at risk. The resources of the affected local and county governments are inadequate to meet the demands caused by these severe winter weather conditions.

The Highways in red were still closed as of 8:30 a.m. Saturday.  Check out 511mn.org for the latest road conditions.

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The Renville County Sheriff’s Department requested that the Minnesota National Guard assist with the rescue of stranded motorists and provide local armories as emergency shelters.

Many cities and counties in southern and southwestern Minnesota issued warnings telling people to stay home and they closed most roads and highways in the region and pulled the plows.

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St. Cloud Public Services Director Tracy Hodel says the high winds are causing significant drifting throughout the area. Road treatments are having minimal impact due to the combination of the subzero temperatures and high winds. Extra caution is advised, especially at intersections. Wind speeds are not expected to be under 20 miles per hour until Sunday morning, December 25th.

If you don’t absolutely have to be out, please stay home. And tell your loved ones the same.

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