Blowing snow causing travel issues

Blowing snow

ALBERT LEA, Minn. — It was a sunny day with clear skies Wednesday, but some of our area was in a blizzard warning.

That is because what snow was on the ground was blowing all over the place, including heavily traveled roads and interstates.

Whether they are on their way home from work or on the roads everyday driving big rigs, travelers are not big fans of the road conditions.

“The high winds and an empty trailer, you can’t drive more than 45 miles an hour,” said Candi Cain of Springfield, Missouri.

Cain and her driving partner got rid of their cargo in Minneapolis. They got as far as Albert Lea before deciding to call it a night.

“45 miles an hour on the freeway and an empty trailer, we’re not going to go any further than we are right now,” Cain said.

Crews are doing their best to keep the roads as safe as possible and that includes those inside city limits.

“A lot of the areas are blocked so we’re not seeing the drifting. Where we are seeing the drifting in town is on the edges of town,” said Albert Lea City Engineer Steve Jahnke.

The city does not have too many places to worry about, but it is problem spots on the outskirts of town that they are keeping their eyes on.

“They’ve been out all day clearing and widening out some of the areas that we know are going to be drifting over the night. We’re going to keep one truck out until about six o’clock just keeping things that’ll get slippery or drifting, just constantly keeping those open,” Jahnke said.

Overnight they will rely on those out on the roads to keep them posted.

“We have a street superintendent who’s making those decisions and constantly looking at it, but really the drivers as well as the police department and the dispatchers are our eyes,” Jahnke said.

Cain’s eyes will be shut for the night and dreaming about the warmer weather ahead on their next stop in California.

“It’s freezing. We came from 85 degrees to negative ten last night and even the truck doesn’t like it, it gelled up, our fuel gelled up,” Cain said.

Jahnke said that the city’s crews have been off the roads since 6 p.m. Wednesday but will be back out Thursday morning at 4 a.m. That way the roads will be as clear as possible for the morning commute.

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