DPS offers winter storm prep, driving tips

DPS offers winter storm prep, driving tips Photo: MGN Images

Updated: January 17, 2020 11:04 AM

As a winter storm moves into the state Friday, officials are reminding Minnesotans how best to prepare.

Meteorologist Jonathan Yuhas said snow will fall more rapidly after noon Friday, with 3-6 inches possible by 6 p.m. in the metro. An additional 3-4 inches are expected Friday night into Saturday, Yuhas said.


Yuhas said, by noon Saturday, the Twin Cities could see 6-10 inches of snow, with higher amounts over 12 inches to the north of the metro. With significant wind gusts, blizzard conditions are possible Friday into Saturday in western Minnesota, including Alexandria, Hutchinson, Granite Falls, Marshall, Redwood Falls, Willmar, Worthington and New Ulm, Yuhas said.

Metro area to see 6-10 inches of snow by Saturday afternoon

Upper Midwest forecast: Snow begins to move in ahead of blizzard-like conditions

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety advised, if driving is necessary, drivers should clear snow and ice from their vehicles' windows, hood, headlights, break lights and directional signals. Additionally, DPS officials said the law requires drivers turn their headlights on in the midst of snowfall.

DPS officials also advised drivers to wear seatbelts at all times, to drive at a slower speed when road conditions are slick, and increase the distance between vehicles. If you start to skid while driving, DPS officials say to remain calm, ease your foot off the gas pedal and turn the steering wheel in the direction you want the front of the vehicle to go.

Drivers who see law enforcement or emergency vehicles pulled over to the side of the road are asked to move over a lane to give those vehicles one lane of space. Drivers who can't move over are asked to slow down.

DPS officials also recommended drivers keep a winter survival kit in their vehicles. The kit should include warm clothing, blankets, a cellphone charger, a flashlight and extra batteries, bottled water and snacks, jumper cables, basic tools, a red bandana to use as a marker and pencil and paper.

Meanwhile, DPS officials warned Minnesotans that carbon monoxide poisoning can occur with increased use of fireplaces and stoves. Sometimes, blowing snow can block vents on the sides or tops of homes or apartment buildings, DPS officials stated. Officials advised clearing snow from any outdoor furnace, dryer, fireplace or oven vent and to test carbon monoxide alarms to make sure they are working properly.

If using a portable heater, DPS officials advised keeping it at least three feet from anything flammable. Do not leave a portable heater on while sleeping or if the heater is unattended, officials said.

How to prevent frostbite as temps drop this week

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Rebecca Omastiak

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