'This storm is a bit tricky.' Minnesotans are bracing for snow on Sunday

Minnesotans are bracing for snow on Sunday

Gray skies and dry highways – what you might call the calm before the storm.

“It's so crazy, so crazy,” laughed Diane Osowski of Plymouth.

This weekend, Minnesotans are preparing to repeat what happened a year ago.

“It really piled up,” recalls John Marshall, regional vice president of Xcel Energy. “It caused quite a few crashes last year, groups all over the place.”

On March 31, 2023, storms blocked roads and a school roof collapsed at Browerville High School in central Minnesota, initially knocking out power to 160,000 homes and businesses.

“This storm was a bit tricky,” MnDOT spokeswoman Ann Meyer noted. “We still have some stuff on the roadsides from that last storm, so that's going to help us a little bit.”

Fast forward to today and Xcel Energy and MnDOT say they are ready.

On the roads, 200 snowplows are on standby in the metro, 800 statewide, with 1,600 drivers.

“If we were to treat early, it would be those traditional problem areas,” Mayer explained. “Curves, bridges, overpasses, they're slicker faster than other areas, 'cause the bottom of it is cooler road temperatures.”

Right now, Xcel Energy says several hundred are ready to go.

Last year's 'April Fools' Eve' blizzard mobilized 1,000 workers and contractors to repair downed power lines.

A bigger concern is the heavy, wet snow predicted for Sunday.

“It can often weigh down trees and snap some branches, causing some outages,” Marshall said. “Also, it provides some slippery roads and we get quite a bit of cars against the pole.”

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All of that is on the minds of shoppers at Alsted's Fresh Market in Crystal.

Gary Campion, who lives nearby, said, “Get a couple of last-minute things before I go home. “Food shopping wise, I bought some candy and some rice. requirements.”

But for Judy Keeper, who filled her car with bag after bag of emergency kits, it was serious business.

“I've got everything, to pack for the storm tomorrow,” he announced. “I've got juice and there's milk. “I don't know what will happen tomorrow, I don't even vote,” he said.

MnDOT's advice for the coming storm?

Avoid all unnecessary trips, always exercise caution behind the wheel and keep a safe distance from other vehicles.

“Watch (the storm) from your window, not from the road,” the mayor advised. “It's going to be tricky at points.”

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