State officials urge caution as winter storm approaches

SHOREVIEW -- Prepare to be walloped today by the first major snowstorm of the season -- and forecasters say there is only a slim chance of avoiding it.

SHOREVIEW -- Prepare to be walloped today by the first major snowstorm of the season -- and forecasters say there is only a slim chance of avoiding it.

"This thing is coming," National Weather Service meteorologist Todd Krause predicted Friday. "There's not much doubt about it."

Much of the state will see up to 12 inches of snow, freezing rain and ice, subzero temperatures -- or a mixture of the three.

Anywhere between eight inches and one foot of snow is expected across a broad swath of the state, from extreme southwestern Minnesota through the northeast region, Krause said.

Only northwestern Minnesota may avoid snow accumulation, but low temperatures and freezing rain have been predicted for that region and elsewhere.


Transportation officials say they have planned for the storm for several days.

Trucks were applying "anti-icing" chemicals to many roadways beginning Thursday. They will do the same again early today before the predicted storm reaches Minnesota, said Bev Farraher, a maintenance engineer for the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The Transportation Department has 767 snowplowing trucks and 1,640 truck operators across the state, Farraher said. They will plow snow and apply "de-icing" salt mixtures on ice-covered highways.

Drivers were cautioned to give plow trucks plenty of space. Last year, MnDOT reported 54 crashes involving plow trucks and vehicles. That resulted in seven injured motorists.

Law enforcement officers hope Minnesotans are ready for the storm, but nevertheless repeated basic winter driving tips.

"It's time for Minnesota drivers to remember they're in Minnesota and they must adjust their driving habits to the weather," State Patrol Lt. Mark Peterson said.

Peterson and others urged drivers to practice caution on the roadways, including slowing down, planning for longer trips and avoiding rushed driving.

"That's when things start to happen," Peterson said of rushing over icy or snow-covered roadways. "Spinouts and crashes occur. And you run into somebody like me at a time of the day when you do not want to do that. So, slow down."


Drivers should equip vehicles with a winter survival kit, and Peterson said those who must travel rural roadways during a storm should carry a mobile phone and alert friends or relatives of their travel plans.

Minnesotans will see more state troopers and plow-truck drivers on the highways as conditions worsen. If emergency calls spike, Peterson said the State Patrol will call in extra troopers and those already working will remain on duty for longer shifts.

Lakes and rivers are beginning to freeze, but Krause cautioned Minnesotans that ice remains thin and snow cover could slow freezing.

What To Read Next
Get Local