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Winter Cold, Not Snow, Causing Problems On Minnesota Roads

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Snow fell just in time for the Tuesday evening commute and once dry roads are now covered with the white stuff.

While Minnesota Department of Transportation crews are doing what they can to clear the way, drivers should be careful that this new layer of slickness could send them to their local body shop.

Mother Nature is serving up something cold, and MnDOT is ready to scoop it out of the way. It's not snow causing problems for road crews, it's cold temperatures freezing everything to the pavement, making salt useless.

"It doesn't work very well at these temperatures. When it gets to about 20 degrees, it starts dropping off very quickly down to about zero degrees," Kent Barnard with MnDOT said.

Barnard believes there is enough residual salt from last week on the roads to keep whatever falls from the sky from bonding onto the blacktop. But city and county crews might not have the same luck on the side streets.

"They have the same challenges MnDOT has. The cold temperatures, the salt not working effectively, traffic compacting the snow and turning it into ice on the road way surface, it can be very difficult," Barnard said.

It's not snowy conditions that has the tow yard outside Latuff Brother's Auto Body shop in St. Paul packed.

"With this type of cold, especially over the weekend, that black ice can get you," Robert Latuff said.

Black ice is why many of these vehicles are here in need of repairs.

"A lot of it is just massive front-end damage, running into other vehicles, running into guard rails, so it's a lot of heavy hits," Latuff said.

Heavy hits that need trained hands to fix. Everyone at Latuff Brothers is working to keep up with the demand.

"There are cars coming in every hour," Latuff said.

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