best tracker ‘This storm is a bit of a tricky one.’ Minnesotans are bracing for Sunday’s snowstorm – Techss

‘This storm is a bit of a tricky one.’ Minnesotans are bracing for Sunday’s snowstorm

Gray skies and dry highways — you could call it the calm before the storm.

“It’s pretty crazy, pretty crazy,” Diane Osowski of Plymouth smiled.

This weekend, Minnesotans are bracing for a repeat of a year ago.

“It really piled up,” recalled John Marshall, a regional vice president for Xcel Energy. “It did cause some outages last year, crews all over the place.”

The March 31, 2023, storm clogged roads, collapsed a school roof at Browerville High School in central Minnesota, and initially knocked out power to 160,000 homes and businesses.

“This storm is a bit of a tricky one,” noted Anne Meyer, a MnDOT spokesperson. “We do have some materials still on the roadways from that last storm, so that’s going to help us out a little bit.”

Fast-forward to the present day, and Xcel Energy and MnDOT say they’re ready.

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

“If we do need to pre-treat, it’ll be those traditional trouble spots,” Meyer explained. “Ramps, bridges, overpasses, they get slick faster than other areas, ‘cos the base of it is a colder road temp.”

Right now, Xcel Energy says it has several hundred people ready to go.  

Last year’s ‘April Fool’s Eve’ snowstorm activated 1,000 workers and contractors to fix downed power lines.

Sunday’s predicted heavy, wet snow is a big concern.

“You know it can often weigh down trees and snap some branches, causing some outages that way,” Marshall said. “Also, it provides for some slippery roads, we do get a little bit of car versus pole.”

All this is very much on the minds of shoppers at Alsted’s Fresh Market in Crystal.

“Just grab a couple of last-minute supplies before I go home,” said Carrie Campion, who lives nearby. “Food shopping-wise, I bought some candy and some rice. The necessities.”

But for Judy Kieper,who filled her car with bag after bag of emergency provisions, this was serious business.  

“I’ve got everything in there, have to pack up for the storm tomorrow,” she declared. “I’ve got juice and I’ve got milk. I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, and I don’t want to drive.”

MnDOT’s advice for the coming storm?

Avoid all unnecessary travel, always stay alert behind the wheel and keep a safe distance from other vehicles.

“Watch (the storm) from your window, not the roadway,” Meyer advised. “It’s going to get tricky out there at points.”

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