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Anticipating Heavy Snow, MnDOT Road Crews Put On Notice

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(credit: CBS) Reg Chapman
Reg Chapman joined WCCO-TV in May of 2009. He came to WCCO fr...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With the sun blazing high in the sky during the day Sunday, the snow pack became puddles. However, all this Spring-like behavior will have to wait until Mother Nature finishes snowing on Minnesota.

Anticipating the forecasted heavy snowfall, MnDOT says it pre-treated roads last week and should be ready to handle whatever falls from the sky.

With the roads already prepared for battle against the snow, dispatchers are busy watching the skies at the Regional Transportation Management Center in Roseville.

“They are tracking the radar. They’re watching to see what’s happening to the storm as it moves into the Twin Cities area,” said MnDOT spokesman Kent Barnard.

They’ll know if road crews need to come in early and it’s here where the call will come from — drivers have already been put on notice.

Their shift begins at 10 p.m. Sunday night and they are ready to get busy once the snow starts falling.

“They’re looking at a midnight start and we’re going to have split shift which is 12 hours on 12 hours off until the storm is done and we have the roads back in good winter driving conditions,” Barnard said.

However, if the storm moves in earlier, crews will be called in to deal with it.

Barnard says this time they have the advantage.

“We have residual salt left over from previous storms. If you’re driving around on the Twin Cities freeway system, you’ll see there are places where there is white on the roadway. That’s storm-related salt from previous storms,” Barnard said.

Kent says the morning commute could be messy. He wants people out on the roads to make sure they give snow plows plenty of room to operate.

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