Metro area residents, plow drivers work to clear snow after storm

February 21, 2019 01:50 PM

Many Minnesotans are spending Thursday digging out for the fifth time this month.

Once drivers are out of the driveway or their street parking spots, they will still have to navigate some snowy side streets.


Most major roads had been plowed by Thursday morning and crews turned their attention to tackling side streets and neighborhood roads.

"The trouble with it is even if you could park on street, you're gonna get stuck in powdery snow," resident Amy Saupe said. "I really want to get a spot on the driveway but we might have to resort to shoveling out a spot on street."

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Cities throughout Minnesota declare snow emergencies

New record set during Wednesday snowstorm

Communities in Minnesota keep a priority list for plow drivers. Hospitals, ambulance, police and fire routes are cleared first. Then, major roads are cleared. Residential roads tend to be the last to be plowed.

In Minneapolis, which declared a snow emergency Wednesday, tow trucks were removing vehicles from the streets as plows attempted to get around them to clear the roads.

Meanwhile, in St. Paul, city officials typically budget for four snow emergencies per year. Wednesday's snowstorm prompted the fourth snow emergency, which means officials may have to move some money around to cover the cost of additional plowing.

"With some of these bigger snowfalls we've been having, with stop signs, sometimes it's like, 'Do I stop all the way and not be able to start again and kinda coast?," St. Paul resident Tim Schwarz said of navigating side streets in the city.

How much does it cost a city when a snow emergency is declared? The typical price tag is $500,000-$600,000.

Find snow emergency information where you live here

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Rebecca Omastiak & Ashley Zilka

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