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If Another Snowstorm Hits During Deep Freeze, It Could ‘Weld’ Ice To Streets

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(credit: CBS) John Lauritsen
John Lauritsen is a reporter from Montevideo, Minn. He joined WCCO-...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Roads are still bad days after a storm dumped nearly a foot of snow in Minneapolis.

That’s because the deep freeze that followed the snow isn’t letting up, and neither are the calls to the city to point out problem spots on the roads.

“Driving in and around the city streets is just terrible,” said driver Glenn Barling. “It’s really bad.”

Currently, temperatures in Minnesota are hovering about 25 degrees below average.

“I’d love to have average right now,” said Mike Kennedy of Minneapolis Public Works. “Because we would have 30 degrees, and we wouldn’t have this hard-packed ice and things would be very, very different.”

The latest winter storm added more snow to already crowded streets, and worse yet, the ice that formed afterwards isn’t going away anytime soon.

“When you get a winter like this, there’s always a certain number of calls and complaints,” Kennedy said. “It has been accelerated simply because of the nature of the problems that have been out there.”

While Minneapolis Public Works would like to address every complaint, they have to prioritize. Plows will first work on intersections and streets with high traffic volume.

They’ll get to residential areas second, and streets where they are getting a lot of calls. But when it’s below 15 degrees, de-icing salts don’t work, and sand only helps with traction.

What the city needs is a warm-up, or the next storm could be the knock-out punch.

“[The ice] gets bulletproof, and you cannot get it off,” Kennedy said. “It’s like the ice is welded to the pavement.”

And when the ice does melt, there’ll be another major problem: potholes.

The city is encouraging drivers to call Minneapolis 311 to report significant potholes around the city.

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