Difficult Driving Likely Through Weekend

Posted at: 02/21/2014 10:53 PM
Updated at: 02/21/2014 10:56 PM
By: Jenna Lohse

(ABC 6 News) -- Roads were still dangerous even hours after the blizzard passed. MNDOT crews have been out on the roads all day. We talked with one driver who says even a day after the snow, conditions are still the worst he's ever seen.

"It's been a challenge,” said MNDOT plow driver, Dennis Yoder, who plows parts of highway 63 and 52. He says the combination of heavy snow compacting onto roads and freezing has made his job nearly impossible.

"We're putting all kinds of product down it's not doing anything,” said Yoder.

Clearing snow drifts from high winds was one of MNDOT’s priorities Friday. Now it's dealing with the thick icy coating that covers most roads, including major highways in our area.

"It's an inexact science, they do their best and a lot with the wind and all that and you just hope people are going slower,” said Mike Dougherty with MNDOT.

More than a hundred MNDOT plows are covering the 11 county area at all times. "A storm doesn't end when the snow stops flying, it's just basically started for our folks,” said Dougherty.

MNDOT is telling drivers to plan ahead. For Friday night and most of the weekend, a trip that takes two hours may take up to four.

"If you see big drifts on the side of the road, you're going to run into white out conditions, complete white where you can't see anything,” said Yoder.

Dennis Yoder says each storm has its own challenges, but this one created conditions he hasn't quite seen before. Still calling it difficult driving conditions well into day two of clean up.

"We're just going to keep putting sand and materials down to the best of our ability and just keep traffic moving,” said Yoder.

A new shift of MNDOT drivers will be in at midnight Saturday. MNDOT officials say they'll work throughout the weekend and into next week until the roads are completely cleared.