By Mary McGuire

LAKEVILLE, Minn. (WCCO) — Saturday’s snowfall and icy roads were just an appetizer for Sunday’s main course.

“Four hundred twenty-three crashes yesterday from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., that’s a significant amount in that amount of time,” said Lt. Gordon Shank of the Minnesota State Patrol.

That mess was caused by just a dusting of snow.

With 10 inches of snow possible, Minnesota State Patrol districts are at capacity and staff is on standby to make sure they have enough troopers to respond.

“We have extra flares out so if we find ourselves out at a crash we are going to be at for longer than a short period of time, we have flares to put out so the traffic can see us along with our lights,” said Lt. Shank.

If you do get into a crash or spin out, Lt. Shank advises staying in your vehicle.

Call 911 from inside of your car if you can and try to pull over to the next freeway exit.

Troopers can still complete an investigation even if you aren’t in the exact spot where the crash happened.

Transportation officials are also keeping a close eye on the forecast.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation did not extensively pre-treat roads ahead of the snow and there’s a good reason why.

Since it’s so cold out, the brine solution they use would freeze and make roads even more dangerous.

“You can put chemicals down and either the temperature is so low, they aren’t effective so you have to put a lot down and wait a long time,” said MnDOT communications director Kevin Gutknecht.

If the chemicals do work and start melting snow and ice, that creates water, which quickly freezes.

Looking forward, black ice could be a big problem as the thermometer continues to plummet.

“We will be out and we will treat it as best we can, but it’s going to be a challenge,” said Gutknecht.

A challenge that plow drivers are up for.

As the snow starts to pile up, MnDOT crews will be working 24/7 to clear roads in the Twin Cities metro.

Mary McGuire

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