St. Paul Roads Covered in Ice for Days

Updated: 12/11/2012 10:42 PM By: Katherine Johnson

As ice freezes on roads and sidewalks, Andrew Westlock takes matters into his own hands.

"Everybody wants to gun it so it's spinning out and it just gets backed up and then everybody gets stuck," he said.

Plows have already applied three times the amount of salt usually laid in a snow emergency on the streets of St. Paul.  However, it's not enough to melt the thick layer of ice left behind in the wake of the wet snow and drastic temperature drop.

"Kind of a perfect recipe for icy conditions," said St. Paul Public Works spokesperson Dave Hunt.

Hunt says a Snow Emergency was issued at 11:30am, Sunday.  It went into effect at 9:00pm.  The city waits until that time to start plowing residential roads.
"We had a nine and a half hour gap between the time we declared and by the time we started plowing," said Hunt.  "That's nine and a half hours when you have vehicles driving on that heavy wet snow compacting it.  Then the temperatures fell over the next two days."

The chemical mixture the plows drop to melt the ice doesn't work as well once temperatures drop below ten degrees.  So while he waits for a warm-up, Westlock will keep sprinkling his own salt mixture wherever he can.

"We're doing all that we can for the time being but we just need nature to cooperate," said Hunt.

The last time St. Paul tried to plow ice off the roads, 25 vehicles were damaged and taken out of commission.  For road condition updates and Snow Emergency details, visit\snow