‘Preemptive Strike’ Launched On New Year’s Ice

By John Lauritsen, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A wintry mix of sleet, freezing rain and snow could make it an interesting New Year’s Eve for drivers.

“We are loading trucks up now with chemicals, liquid and granule, waiting for the snow to fall,” said Jerry Abel of MnDOT.

The snow may still fall on this last day of 2010, but it’s frozen rain that has provided a more immediate problem, and not just on the roadways.

“They are not clean. You have to take your life into your own hands, you’re slipping and sliding,” said Linda Brooks, a Minneapolis resident.

Brooks is referring to sidewalks, which now look like mini skating rinks in some parts of the city. Rain from Thursday night froze over, making walking more of an adventure than most are used to.

Rachel Rahn is trying to help with that. She spent the morning tossing sand onto the sidewalk in front of the apartment building she owns and manages.

“Just trying to be proactive and just try to get down the sand and salt before all the ice and cold weather come,” said Rahn.

There are other ways people are preparing for a potential New Year’s storm.

“It’s been [a] constant, steady flow since 9 [this morning]. [We have] got lot of people stocking up,” said Melissa Surdyk of Surdyk’s Liquor Store in northeast Minneapolis.

Customers are stocking up in the morning and afternoon so they don’t have to venture out later. Surdyk’s will sell a year’s worth of champagne over the New Year’s holiday.

Monte Dirks is buying early too, so he doesn’t have to be on the roads later. Because of the weather and roads, he and his family are ringing in the New Year at home.

“Perfect time to stay in while everybody else is out going wild and crazy,” said Dirks.

WCCO-TV’s John Lauritsen Reports

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