MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If there is one thing Jolene Anderson knows, it is how to deal with the snow.
“I’m a lifelong Minnesotan and I don’t know why I complain every winter that I still live here, but I do,” said Anderson.
The same can’t be said for all Minnesotans.
“Everyone goes either really fast or really slow, and cause accidents either way. And it seems like people forget how to drive when the first snowfall comes,” said Anderson.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation can’t change people’s driving habits, but they do have a special system in place to help ensure your car doesn’t end up in the ditch.
“We have several bridges in the metro area that have anti-icing systems on them,” said MnDOT Communications Director Kevin Gutknecht.
One of those bridges is Interstate 35E over the Mississippi River. A system detects the weather and sprays out a chemical to stop the formation of ice.
Pre-treating the roads helps, but it’s not magic.
“Don’t think of pre-treating as a panacea,” Gutknecht said. “What that melting does is create more water. The more water you get, the more you dilute the brine.”
How much pre-treating is done depends on the roadway and what the storm looks like as it is coming in. If it looks like rain might be in the forecast, MnDOT won’t pre-treat since it would wash the liquid solution or the salt away.
“We pre-treat selectively in areas where we think we need to pre-treat, but we aren’t going to pre-treat everywhere,” Gutknecht said.
You can’t depend on the weather or other drivers, but you can depend on your own judgement behind the wheel.
As the snow continues to fall, slow down and leave plenty of room between yourself and other cars.