MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — MnDOT recommends no travel in southern Minnesota Tuesday night, and roads in the Twin Cities are not much better.
The Minnesota State Patrol says 679 drivers crashed or spun out between 6 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. Tuesday on slick roads in the blowing snow.
Thirty-six people were injured — two of them seriously.
Drivers were not going anywhere quickly Tuesday afternoon. Tail lights were a common sight as cars crawled through side streets.
The constant snowfall created hazardous driving conditions. Late afternoon several cars spun out at Interstate 94 and Humboldt Avenue.
“Traffic is getting heavy and roads are getting slushy,” driver Sue Iaquinto said.
Some chose to bike through the blizzard-like conditions Instead of dealing with driving. Others trudged through the snow, dragging luggage.
People bundled up and braved the sideways snow to take mass transit.
“If you’re going to live in Minnesota, this is what you expect,” Iaquinto said.
Many people witnessed a tragedy in downtown Minneapolis when a woman was hit and killed while crossing Hennepin Avenue at 8th Street.
“I hear a yell, I hear a scream then I turn over, I see a car slam on his brakes,” witness Maliki Caldwell said.
Minneapolis police said the woman was walking in the crosswalk with other people when a vehicle turning off 8th Avenue struck her.
“Police came up and ambulance was there shortly after,” witness Andrew Dmitruk said.
It is a critical reminder that everyone should be aware when the roads are slick.
“Slow down, pay attention to everything. People get tense in weather like this, people get frustrated. Take your time, nothing is worth this,” John Elder, spokesperson for the Minneapolis Police Department, said.
The focus for drivers across the Twin Cities is now on the Wednesday morning commute, and if the roads will be ready.
“The plows have been out from what I’ve seen, so they’ve been out and doing what they’re supposed to do,” driver Luke Grover said.
MnDOT will have crews working throughout the night all over the state, plowing the Interstates and prepping for the morning commute.
As always, it is a good idea to leave early, and plan on giving yourself more time to get where you are going.