Slush slows travel

ALBERT LEA, Minn. — It is not exactly how the saying goes, but Thursday night’s April showers ended up bringing snow instead of flowers. So instead of taking the time to smell the roses, travelers are taking a little extra time to conquer their commute.

Joe Hall is on his way from Nashville to Anchorage and he has hit just about every type of weather possible along the drive.

“We hit a lot of bad weather in St. Louis, all those bad thunderstorms, tornado warnings and then coming through Iowa, a lot of high winds, a lot of icy roads, other than that, not too bad,” Hall said.

So they got off the road, got a good night’s rest and hoped for better in the morning. Things did not work out as planned.

“When we woke up this morning and started it rained last night and then we hit real bad wind and icy roads, almost like ground blizzards,” Hall said.

Those conditions led to a busy morning for Sgt. Tim Freden of the Minnesota State Patrol.

“This morning was a little treacherous driving. We had an accumulation of snow which was warm enough where it started to turn to slush and slush is really bad. People hydroplane on the slush and that causes a lot of problems,” Freden said.

He said although the weather was expected, people are still taking too many risks.

“You get a handful of people maybe going a little too fast for the existing conditions and that’s what’s causing them to go into the ditches and so forth,” Freden said.

As for Hall, he has got a long way to go before he arrives in Alaska, but he is going to take his time getting there and enjoy the ride.

“Actually it’s been warmer in Anchorage, Alaska then it’s been down here with this real weird weather,” Hall said.

Freden said that his shift began at 6 a.m. Friday morning and that is when he was the busiest. He dealt with some semis and cars in area ditches but that went down as the day went on.

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