By Mary McGuire

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Traffic throughout the Twin Cities was moving at a slower pace Thursday morning as more return to work following the holiday and were greeted with new snow.

The snowflakes were flying in downtown Minneapolis during the morning rush hour. Metro Transit reported that some routes were experiencing delays.

Close to 200 MnDOT plows were out on the roads throughout the morning, but not all of them were laying down salt. That’s because it’s just too cold out for it to be effective.

However, they said they were putting chemical product down only on trouble spots, because at these cold temperatures, salt is not as effective. Transportation officials are not only concerned about getting the roads clear for the day, but also about prepping for the possibility of black ice as the cold continues.

The Minnesota State Patrol said from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m., there were 1,129 crashes statewide. Of those, 90 involved injuries: one crash in Rochester was fatal, and a crash in Duluth and Mankato resulted in two people being seriously injured. There were also 337 vehicle spin-outs or cars going off the road.

“When the temperature drops off like that, there is always a chance that black ice could form,” said MnDOT Communications Director Kevin Gutknecht.

If there’s a silver lining in all of this, the traffic was lighter than it normally is on a Thursday morning because of the holidays.

Also, the pavement was just too cold for the snow to stick to it.

According to WCCO meteorologist Matt Brickman, the official snowfall amounts as of 6 a.m. were less than half an inch at the weather stations at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, in Chanhassen, St. Cloud and Eau Claire.

 

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