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Freezing Rain Leads To Increased Slips, Injuries

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Hundreds of people went to area hospitals Tuesday after slipping and falling on icy streets and sidewalks.

While much of the ice melted during the day, there is the danger of refreezing overnight.

On a downtown Minneapolis sidewalk, Brenda Lecy slipped and ended up with a fracture in her hand.

"I must have hit a patch of ice with my shoes, and slipped on the sidewalk, and went down face first," she said.

Her injuries were relatively minor compared to other patients at Hennepin County Medical Center.

"The most concerning falls we are seeing are people slipping so that their feet are straight out, and they are landing, hitting their back, and hitting their head," Dr. William Heegaard said. "The brain can move forward, and then backward, and get bruised or have internal bleeding."

The treacherous conditions sent people scrambling to hardware stores for salt.

"We went through a palate-and-a-half within the first half-hour of the store being open this morning," said Frattallone's Ace Hardware Manager Adam Flesher.

Rhett McSweeney came into Ace Hardware to load up for his south Minneapolis building.

"It's a skating rink when you come up the back stairs, or in the parking lot," McSweeney said.

Mercy Abbott Northwestern Hospital officials said about 90 percent of their patients overnight and early Tuesday morning were injuries from falling on the ice.

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