MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Earlier this week, winter arrived in North Dakota. Now, it’s Minnesota’s turn. Ready or not, the first measurable snowfall is on its way.
“People are kind of anticipating it,” said Kent Barnard with the Minnesota Department of Transportation. “It’s kind of like waiting for Christmas in a sense.”
Barnard and his fellow snow plow drivers know they could get called into work to clear the roads.
“They’ve done all the necessary maintenance on the plows, making sure everything’s running OK,” said Barnard. “Oh, we’re definitely ready for the snow and ice season.”
It’s been seven months since the Twin Cities have seen measurable snow and once it comes, it may stick around for a while.
“It’s winter. It’s Minnesota. Might as well let it snow. More snow the better,” said Mike Larkin, who was buying cross-country skis and other equipment Friday night at Midwest Mountaineering.
Crews have been preparing for several weeks. Just in Minneapolis alone, there are more than 1,500 miles of streets, parkways and alleys.
Minnesota’s Department of Transportation has ordered hundreds of tons of salt for the season. In fact, that’s about 80 percent of what it needs for the season.
Minneapolis crews are on standby, ready to make city streets drivable. The Department of Public Works has vehicles ready in case road conditions get messy.
During the last several weeks, crews have been converting many of the heavy vehicles from fall to winter use.
Minneapolis officials are also asking residents to learn about Snow Emergencies, in part by checking out the City’s website, watching for brochures in the mail, and signing up for alerts by phone and email.
Minneapolis and St. Paul officials are also asking property owners to shovel their sidewalks within 24 hours after a snowfall.
“Last winter, we fielded 4,115 complaints about unshoveled sidewalks, expending staff time and resources,” said St. Paul Ward 4 City Councilmember Russ Stark.
Watch Chris Shaffer’s Weather Forecast