Snow and Rain Create a Weather Mess in the Twin Cities
It’s been a bizarre couple of weather days in the Twin Cities. First came the snow, then the rain. That combination has created quite a mess.
“This morning we actually had trucks starting at 4 a.m. trying to make sure our main roads are clear before the morning commute,” said Mark Ray, Crystal’s Director of Public Works.
Yes, the weather outside really is frightful. Travel is challenging whether you are driving or pedaling.
“This has been a very complex snow event,” Ray said.
Snow, slush and rain
In the Northwest suburbs, a few inches of snow quickly turned to slush, thanks to rain drops that fell all day.
This made things tricky for Ray and his crew in Crystal. They eventually waited for snow to melt before plowing every street.
“If we plowed the road, all that snow would go to the gutter lines and into catch basins which would prevent the water from running off the streets into the catch basins,” Ray said. “This water would then kind of pond, and then we have single digit temperatures tomorrow which means those ponds would turn to ice.”
Crystal’s strategy was more proof that this “mixed bag” storm wasn’t your typical winter event.
“I can say I’ve actually never held off on plowing snow because of Mother Nature working to our advantage,” Ray said.
Meanwhile across the Twin Cities, city crews and residents cleared sidewalks and driveways as they dug out from a snowy, slushy mess.
“It’s heavy,” said Jackie Baker of Brooklyn Park. “It’s hard for an old lady.”
Baker wasn’t exactly thrilled to be shoveling liquid snow.
“It’s slushy,” Baker said. “It’s very heavy and it’s very wet. “
Typically in late December, skating rinks and sledding hills are jammed. But not this week. On Thursday, Central Park in Brooklyn Park was a ghost town.
City plow operators cleared slush from rinks that are temporarily closed and sledding was nowhere to be found.
Yes, the rain is washing winter away.
However, things will change. Liquid rivers in the street will soon freeze as the thermometer drops – which could create some slippery roads.
“[Friday] morning with the cold temperatures, it will be very slick,” Ray said. “When temperatures drop below 15 degrees, salt is really not that effective.”