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Ticketed or towed: Snow emergencies hit Twin Cities drivers in the wallet

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The month's first significant band of snow resulted in, predictably, the first snow emergency declarations of the season for Minneapolis, St. Paul and many metro communities.

And that meant the tow trucks and ticket masters were busy.

As of Sunday evening – with one more day of snow emergency parking rules still to come – 954 cars had been towed in Minneapolis, KSTP reports.

The area by TCF Bank Stadium, packed with tens of thousands of football fans, appeared to be particularly vulnerable to tow trucks. One victim told the Star Tribune half of the people at the impound lot Sunday looking to reclaim their vehicles were in Vikings jerseys.

A total of 799 cars had been towed in St. Paul, according to the Pioneer Press, where snow emergency rules were up by Sunday night. There were also 3,418 vehicles ticketed along plow routes in the city, the Pioneer Press said.

Do the math: That's a big chunk of change

All of these violations come with a fine, of course.

A look at Minneapolis fines shows getting a ticket for parking illegally during a snow emergency is $42. Meanwhile a standard tow charge is $138 – plus $18 per day it's stored, and $6 for the notification letter.

In St. Paul: A $56 parking ticket; or if you're towed, $209 to get it out of the impound lot the day it's brought in, and $15 per day storage after that.

Let's say everyone retrieved their vehicle the day it was impounded. Using only the impound numbers (as of Sunday evening), that's $137,376 for Minneapolis ($144 for each of the 954 cars towed) and $166,991 for St. Paul ($209 for 799 cars).

Throw the parking tickets in there, and that's another $176,288 for St. Paul.

(This is assuming all cars were retrieved from the impound lot, and all tickets were paid.)

Snow emergency help

Both Minneapolis and St. Paul detail snow emergency rules online. Each declared a snow emergency Saturday, after a round of precipitation dropped close to half a foot of snow around the Twin Cities metro region.

WCCO has a collection of links to snow emergency declarations and rules for cities around the metro.

Many cities offer instant notification of a snow emergency, using email, text, social media or smartphone app.

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