ROSEVILLE, Minn. (WCCO) — The first big winter storm caused problems for drivers overnight Saturday. And with temperatures dropping below freezing overnight Sunday, the Monday morning commute could be a challenge.
From 5 p.m. Saturday through 11 a.m. Saturday, the Minnesota State Patrol reported 261 crashes, 26 involving injuries. There were also 115 spinouts and four semis that jackknifed.READ MORE: Minnesota Weather: Sunday Snow To Create Monday Commute Headaches
“I got up this morning to go to my part-time job and my eyes got wide open,” driver Steve Spector said.
Though the snow surprised Spector, it was a welcome one.
“I enjoy the difference, the summer and the winter. I think that’s very important. I enjoy it. Gives everyone a challenge!” Spector said.
With temperatures expected to drop below freezing overnight Sunday, the Minnesota Department of Transportation is bringing in extra crews to monitor icy areas like bridges and ramps.READ MORE: Minnesota Weather: Odds Favoring Colder, Snowier Winter This Year
“Those are areas that tend to get colder with air temperatures, so they get slicker faster than other areas of the highway,” MnDOT Spokesperson Anne Meyer said.
Even intersections can get slick when car exhaust melts snow, then it re-freezes.
“Speed is a big factor, and if you can keep your speed lower, you are going to help yourself behind the wheel,” Meyer said.
At Frattalone’s Hardware & Garden in Arden Hills, salt was a hot commodity this weekend.
“The best way to do it is to work ahead, plan for it, that way if you do go out in your driveway and it’s slippery and icy you can get ahead of it right away,” assistant manager Sam O’Grady said.MORE NEWS: Minnesota Weather: Rounds Of Light Snow Expected Over The Weekend
MnDOT recommends all drivers check road conditions before they head out on their morning commute. Click here for more information.