MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Ahead of the expected winter storm, the Minnesota State Patrol is reminding drivers to buckle up and slow down Wednesday morning — or stay off the roads altogether.
Just Monday, at least four drivers died on snowy or wet Minnesota roads. All lost control and either slid into other cars or off the road. Last winter, there were more than 5,700 wrecks on snowy or icy roads.
On Wednesday morning, to help avoid crashes, we could see as many as 200 plows on the roads.
The road experts we chatted with say you can expect 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Wednesday to be extra congested. They say, expect to leave home at least a half hour early.
MnDOT officials say they’ve checked the plows, the lights, tuned the engines and loaded the salt. Now, they’re asking drivers to pack their patience before hitting the road tomorrow. It’s already been a story of preparation for MnDOT.
“We’re ready for this type of weather that’s coming in,” MnDOT’s Mark Fischbach said. “We’ve been preparing for this event for two days now.”
Hundreds of miles have been hit with de-icing chemicals with hopes when snow hits, the road won’t turn to ice.
The tank here stores a liquid de-icing product that mixes with the salt, jump starting and turning it into a liquid.
“Then, it drops out of a whole into the auger area onto the spinner and then it goes onto the roadway,” Fischbach said.
Crews will work 12-hour shifts. They say if you can avoid the road during rush hour, not only will it save you time, it also allows them to cycle through their route faster, making the roadways safer for everyone.
Here’s a check list for preparing your car for snowy commutes: check your car’s lights, check the spray nozzle to make sure you have enough wiper fluid and make sure tires have adequate tread.