Reporting Steve Murphy
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – There is nothing lovely about this Valentine’s Day for the folks who plow and patrol the roads, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, nor the week leading up to it.
“We have not had any time off since midnight on Saturday,” MnDOT’s Kevin Barnard said.
Trucks were already out in clean-up mode when another 1 to 2 inches of snow fell during the Valentine’s rush hour, but those trucks have to go with the flow.
“The problem is, we can’t move any faster than the rest of the traffic is moving and so we’re probably sitting behind you or in front of you and just kind of waiting for things to break up,” Barnard said.
Meanwhile, State Patrol Lieutenant Eric Roeske says motorists are still adjusting to winter driving conditions.
“I don’t want to say drivers never learn but it only takes one person going too fast or following too close to cause a significant problem,” Roeske said.
The Valentine’s morning rush hour was filled with spinouts and cars sliding off the road, Roeske added. As of 10 a.m., the State Patrol had logged 118 crashes statewide and 67 spinouts or vehicles going off the road. Eighteen injuries were reported, though none were serious.
Last year in Minnesota, more than 10,000 crashes occurred on snowy and icy roads, causing 28 deaths and more than 3,000 injuries.