Reporting Reg Chapman
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The rain and snow mixed together is causing problems on Minnesota roads.
As of Sunday night, much of the metro and the southern half of the state is under a Winter Weather Advisory.
There are already at least 50 school delays already announced for Monday. Bloomington and St. Louis Park declared a snow emergency.
The combination of rain, sleet and snow has made some sloppy and slick conditions.
According to the Minnesota State Patrol, between noon and 8:30 p.m. Sunday, there were 367 reported crashes, including 48 with non-life threatening injuries. Another 299 vehicles went off the roads or spun out.
MnDOT crews were ready for this one. Days before the snow and sleet arrived, they were out and about.
“We were actually out anti-icing at the end of last week and we called in crews this morning metro wide at about 7 a.m.,” said MnDOT’s Kent Barnard.
Crews were on defense, doing what they could to get the snow and slick stuff out of the way of those who needed to travel.
“They were putting down salt and plowing the roads and they are going to continue throughout the night,” Barnard said.
However, it wasn’t enough to stop a tanker truck full of propane gas, from rolling over on northbound Interstate 35W.
It slid into the ditch in Columbus, just south of the 35W/35E split.
“No injuries and no danger to the public no leak of the propane or anything like that,” Barnard said.
It took crews hours to figure out how to get the truck right side up.
To keep everyone safe, they closed the interstate in both directions.
“If anything should happen and the propane tank should rupture it could cause a fire ball,” said Barnard.
As for the roads, the further north you travel, the more snow is falling, causing many of those roads to be snow packed and ice covered. To the south: freezing rain has covered the streets with ice.
MnDOT says if you have to travel, stay off your cell phone, don’t tailgate and give salt and plow trucks room to work.
The good thing about all of this is the temperature.
According to MNDOT it is warm enough for the salt and chemicals they put on the road to work.
If there is a break in the snow they believe the roads should be passable by time the morning commute comes around.