“Wind: 1. Trooper: 0.”
That was the Minnesota State Patrol’s wry lead-in on a video it tweeted Thursday of a state trooper being knocked over by fierce winds as he tried to direct traffic around a jackknifed semitrailer truck in Jackson County, along the Minnesota-Iowa border.
Just a few hours after it was posted, the video had gone viral, receiving more than 32,000 views and hundreds of retweets.
Sgt. Ron Richards, who has been a trooper for 24 years, was not injured in the incident, which happened at the intersection of Hwy. 86 and Interstate 90, but as the patrol said, “The video is a reminder of the conditions caused by this snowstorm.”
The 48-hour snowstorm, which has reached blizzard status in parts of western Minnesota, will continue into Friday. Road conditions have been treacherous across much of the state since Wednesday, and no travel is advised in much of west-central Minnesota.
Lt. Gordon Shank, the patrol’s public information officer, tweeted Thursday afternoon that “Troopers are responding to more jackknifed semis than I can remember — most of which the trailers are empty or light loads. With the wind and road conditions, it’s not going well, so please use some good discretion.”
For updated road conditions and closures, go to the state Department of Transportation continually updated road condition reports site.