MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — MnDOT is prepared to plow through the night — as long as they have visibility – in order to clear off the roads for the morning commute following Thursday’s winter storm.

Still, drivers are advised to allow lots of time for travel Friday, or work from home, officials say. 

As for Thursday night, most drivers handled the commute well. Suzy Gjertson had to commute 13 miles home to New Brighton. As a native Alaskan, she was unfazed.

“You guys are very cautious here,” she said. “Up there, they’re crazy.”

Caution was the word of day, as the commute home on many metro roads was steady, if slow.

And it wasn’t just rush hour that was slow. Ben Geller, with the Wilde Roast Café in Minneapolis, said happy hour was slower than usual as well.

“It sounds like with all the snow coming, a lot of people were scared for the traffic and just wanted to head home,” he said.

But on days like Thursday, slow can be a good thing, especially since MnDOT couldn’t pre-treat the roads as they normally do.

“Doesn’t make a lot of sense to put a lot of salt on the road if it’s just going to get washed away,” said Kevin Gutknech, a MnDOT spokesman.

While driving on the roads could be dangerous, so could shoveling the heavy, wet snow.

Regions Hospital put out a warning, saying the strain of the weight and the cold could lead to a heart attack. The hospital advises those shoveling to pace themselves, take breaks and wear warm clothing.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield