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Rain-Snow Transition, Temperature Plunge Makes Plow Salt Less Effective This Storm

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- While this is the White Christmas many wished for, it did make for some tough travel. The rain to sleet to snow combination made it difficult for Minnesota Department of Transportation plows to do their jobs.

Pulling over for gas was the break from the snow and wind many drivers were looking for Wednesday afternoon. Wednesday's commute started with rain, then turned to a winter mix and quickly switched to a heavy snow fall.

Immediately, MnDOT plows hit the major metro interstates, but they say the cold temperatures and wet roads made their salt and brine less effective.

State Patrol say the strong winds are causing whiteouts in some part of the state.

"We've had a few vehicles just drive right off the road because they can't see the road, and I've been out there myself and, yeah, it's difficult to see," Sgt. Jesse Grabow, with the patrol, said.

Bad driving conditions forced Clarann Stevens to get off the road.

"One truck pulled in between me and a car in front of him so it was kind of like a sandwich and that was scary so then I finally said, OK, I can't do this," Stevens said.

Linda Van Ryn drove all morning in the rain turned snow. She felt lucky to be almost home in New Hope by the time WCCO caught up with her.

"It's really windy and the snow is really coming down, and as it's building up on the roads, it's getting really slick and it's dangerous," Van Ryn said.

MnDOT says road conditions aren't expected to improve anytime soon. The heavy snowfall is going to freeze with plunging temperatures, and the roads should remain slick. Officials say don't drive if you don't absolutely have to.


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