US state pulls snowploughs off roads due to extreme cold
The vehicles later returned to service with officials saying they had not wanted to put drivers in danger.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation pulled snowploughs off the roads in nearly a dozen southeastern counties of the US state because of the extreme cold.
Meanwhile, another state, Wisconsin, added state offices and agencies to its long list of closures.
Wisconsin is facing potentially life-threatening temperatures over the next few days. To make sure we keep state employees and the public safe, I have directed state agencies to close state government offices for public business tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/wiAdQUWcP0— Governor Tony Evers (@GovEvers) January 29, 2019
Minnesota transport officials said some snowploughs were experiencing mechanical problems because of subzero temperatures, so officials decided to idle all of them overnight.
SE MN #MnDOT snowplows are being pulled in for 5 hours to ensure equipment continues operating effectively. Some plows have had mechanical issues in severe cold. Plows will resume work at 4 am. Check https://t.co/xbK5MXsJli for routes marked as "no travel advised" as a precaution— MnDOT District 6 (@mndotsoutheast) January 30, 2019
Officials said they did not want to put drivers in danger if the ploughs malfunctioned.
Operations resumed early on Wednesday, after overnight temperatures in the area dropped to -29F (-34C).
Snowplows are on the roads in SE Minnesota this morning. Temporary no travel advisory has been lifted. It's still important to use caution in travel. Some areas seeing drifting, black ice. Dangerously low temperatures remain. Check road conditions map https://t.co/xbK5MXsJli— MnDOT District 6 (@mndotsoutheast) January 30, 2019
In Wisconsin, Governor Tony Evers issued an executive order closing all non-essential state offices, when the wind chill was forecast to be as cold as -55F (-48C).