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February snowstorm: Gov. Walz declares peacetime emergency, says Nat'l Guard is ready if needed

NEXT Weather: 9 a.m. weather report
NEXT Weather: 9 a.m. weather report 04:23

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday said the Minnesota National Guard will be ready to respond to the impending snowstorm if needed.

Walz made comments on the winter storm during a press conference on child care in St. Paul. He said he's issued a peacetime emergency and authorized the National Guard, who are prepositioning equipment and putting their troops on alert. 

Minnesota's state agencies, including Minnesota State Patrol and Minnesota Department of Transportation, are also on alert and coordinating with the Minnesota National Guard to coordinate preparations. 

RELATED: NEXT Weather Alert: 2-punch winter storm expected to arrive Tuesday afternoon

"The goal is to make sure that we're ready if there's a power lossage, being able to keep the highways (open) and move emergency vehicles as quickly as we can," Walz said. "Minnesota has all the capabilities in terms of equipment."

Commissioner of Transportation Nancy Daubenberger said there are 800 snowplows and 1,600 snowplow drivers across the state. 

"Our crews are prepared and ready, and will be working tirelessly day and night to keep highways as safe for travel as possible. We urge Minnesotans to plan ahead, stay home if you can, and check for latest road conditions near you," Daubenberger said. 

The governor also made a quick joke about a newly-named snowplow in the state.

"'Blizzo' is on the road this year, so that's good. We take that pretty seriously," Walz said.

RELATED: These are Minnesota's biggest snowstorms on record, for now

State Patrol troopers will be on state highways ready to assist stranded motorists. 

Homeland Security and Emergency Management is also "coordinating efforts to prepare for power outages and response challenges," state officials said. 

"Minnesotans are no strangers to extreme weather, but this storm could break records. Our agencies are collaborating closely to make sure we're prepared - and Minnesotans have a part to play, too. Plan ahead, drive safe, and limit travel," Walz said. 

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will be NEXT Weather Alert days, with one to two feet of snow possible by Thursday. The first wave of the storm is expected to arrive Tuesday afternoon.

It's advised to prepare with supplies and a winter kit for your vehicle if you need to go out on the roads. 

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