ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – Driving around the Twin Cities has been a challenge for almost two weeks now. Many streets are still sloppy. The snowfall at the start of the month, plus additional snow in the last few days, is still hanging around due to the frigid temperatures we’ve had.
On Tuesday morning, the city of St. Paul decided to take advantage of the warmer weather and declared a snow emergency. That begins at 9 p.m.
Even though the major streets are clear, the neighborhood streets are still a problem. Once you make a few turns to get to your home, you could easily find yourself stuck in the snow.
WCCO talked with David Janke as he was shoveling his sidewalk and wondering why the streets still look so bad.
“I was in Mendota Heights yesterday and they had everything plowed and done by 2 o’clock and it was beautiful. Fairview is pretty good, the major ones are OK, but it’s the side streets that are a mess,” he said.
That’s why Mayor Chris Coleman decided to do something different. Instead of waiting for the next snow storm, the city of St. Paul is taking care of business now.
“So we are just gonna call the snow emergency. I promised last week that we were going to do everything we could, try new solutions, be creative and innovative. That’s what we are trying to do here,” Coleman said.
Coleman says our milder weather right now is a window of opportunity for snow removal crews. It should help loosen up the snow they haven’t been able to effectively plow.
“We see this couple day’s window where the temperatures are going to be a little bit warmer. Hopefully we will not have any snow for a little bit, but when the next snow storm event comes, the underlying conditions of the streets will be much better than they are today,” he said.
Last week, the city of St. Paul announced changes to its snow maintenance operations. Things like more salt and sand use at intersections, and the purchase of more plow and sand trucks.
“We need to work smarter and more creatively, we can’t just admire the problem. We have to actually do something about it,” Coleman said.
St. Paul’s snow emergency goes into effect tonight at 9 p.m. for the night plow routes. Then, at 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, you’ll need to move your car if you live on a day plow route. Many of those are residential streets.
As for the city of Minneapolis, there’s no news to report and no snow emergency.