Metro area drivers will continue to face ice-covered highways through Sunday and possibly into Monday as colder temperatures settle in, according to the Star Tribune, days after a winter storm dumped 10 inches of snow.
The sun was shining Saturday and that helped melt some of the ice, but the salt and chemicals applied to roads and highways take longer to work in colder temperatures.
The mixture of sun and salt is making some roads better, but not perfect. By Saturday afternoon, conditions had improved enough that the Minnesota National Guard wrapped up operations helping stranded motorists find shelter, KSTP reports.
Minnesota Department of Transportation officials are still advising people to avoid driving through the rest of the weekend if they can, the Star Tribune reported. Road conditions in the metro area are still classified as "difficult."
“The metro system is certainly still a challenge,” Kevin Gutknecht, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, told the paper. “I want to counsel patience. This is the worst compacted snow we’ve seen in a long time. Chemicals are slowly but surely starting to work. It just takes time with these temperatures.”
Authorities said the worst areas remain south of the metro. The icy roads and blowing snow forced officials to close down a number of state highways and freeways. Some have reopened, but the driving conditions are still considered dangerous, according to WCCO.
Lt. Eric Roeske with the Minnesota State Patrol said troopers responded to 964 crashes statewide since the storm began on Thursday. They’ve also responded to 2,324 vehicle spinouts, 1,082 stalls, 74 jack-knifed semis and 52 motorists needing assistance. They’ve responded to more than 4,400 total calls for service, WCCO reports.
Monday’s commute should be better, though crews will have a better sense of that by Sunday afternoon.
You can find the latest road condition information on the MnDOT 511 Traveler information website.
MnDOT's Facebook page also has updates and photos.