By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Our first big snow storm of the year has created a story of the haves and the have-nots.
People living in southeastern Minnesota are digging out of a major snowstorm, but there wasn’t even a dusting in the metro.

As much as 14-inches of snow fell there overnight. Residents got right to work, digging out Friday morning. Plows did their best to clear the roads too, but the blowing snow made it hard to see throughout the day.

Snow-packed and ice-covered roads caused white knuckle driving throughout southern Minnesota. Near Albert Lea, people traveling on I-90 found it impossible to drive the speed limit.

For Brett and his wife Jamie, traveling from Wyoming has been treacherous, with gusting winds and blowing snow everywhere. What wasn’t sticking to the roads or windshields found refuge against buildings in Albert Lea.

“It wasn’t good,” Brett said. “For the most part, you can’t see anything. Icy trucks all over the place.”

But the snow continued to fall through the afternoon. Many who dared to get out on the roads found themselves needing a little help after sliding into a ditch.

State Patrol says it has responded to more than 250 vehicles off thw road.

Brett and Jamie say not even mother nature can stop them from getting to their destination..

“We’ll just power through,” Brett said. “We’ve got a wedding to get to.”

Brett and Jamie had to take a break from driving on I-90. Just south of Rochester the interstate was closed for an hour so crews could pull several big trucks out of the ditch.

Big rig drivers like Zach say this is the worst time to be on the roads. He says an icy blacktop is enough to make a trucker cringe.

“It’s been pretty slippery. You can go about 40 to 50 miles per hour,” he said. “Every time you step on the accelerator ever so lightly, you have to just back off it because the truck starts to sway.”

Zach says drivers who don’t respect snow-packed and icy roads end up in the ditch, putting your life and cargo in danger.

“I bet that’s a call the boss wouldn’t want to get,” he said.

Trucks aren’t the only ones having problems — cars and SUVs also had trouble navigating the ice that covered the road. The hard ice made for a bumpy ride and increased chances of sliding.

“Got to take it slow and not take any chances,” Zach said.

Words of wisdom from a trucker who says he’ll slow it down to make sure he makes it to his next stop.


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