Winter weather safety – here’s what you need to know

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We live in the Northland, one of the snowiest places in the country.

Managing all that snow takes a team of people that ranges from the National Weather Service who issues high stake warnings, to the City of Duluth workers that prepare to remove snow and ice before, during, and after the storm.

“Winter storm warnings are the highest level of alert that we issue to alert people that dangerous winter weather is coming. A winter storm warning means that we’re going to have extremely dangerous weather conditions where travel may be nearly impossible, and the impacts from this winter weather could result in power outage that lasts for awhile, and might have long lasting impacts that make it hard to travel for a day or two” says Joe Moore, an NWS Meteorologist.

Greg Guerrero, the street maintenance manager in the City of Duluth has some advice when it comes to traveling in snowy conditions:

“If you get stuck, typically you’re off on the side of the road already the roads are in pretty good condition but I carry some cat litter, I always carry a small shovel with me. Make sure you’re visible, always have your flashers on. If you have a reflective jacket make sure you wear that so people can see you”

And some advice as to driving with snow plows:

“Just be careful. The old MNDOT ad campaign about “Don’t crowd the plow” that really is something to keep in mind, our operators are out there they’re putting in long hours, they’re working with a lot of traffic, their visibility a lot of time when it’s snowing is the same as yours, it’s not that great. Stay back aways, don’t rush em.”

And always remember: If you can’t see their mirrors, they can’t see you

As always, the best thing to do when there is a frightful storm, is to stay home and avoid traveling.

If you must leave, it is advised that you have a full tank of gas, have non perishable food and water with you, as well as blankets and layers of clothing.

Minnesota Power also weighed in on how to stay safe during a power outage:

Stay away from any downed power lines on the ground or caught in tree limbs, they can still be energized and can cause serious injury or worse.

·         The best advice if the lights go out due to a storm– be prepared in advance.

·         Have flashlights and extra batteries ready

·         Have a battery powered radio

·         Keep your cell phone charged

·         Dress in layers

·         Have blankets available

·         Keep your fridge and freezer doors closed

·         Unplug electronics

·         Have food and water available

·         If you use a generator, please follow the instructions carefully. Improperly connected generators can be dangerous for our crews and do not use generators indoors. They can emit harmful carbon monoxide fumes.

“Most importantly —in most cases our crews are able to restore power within a couple of hours, but if it appears to be an extended outage, make plans to stay with family and friends who have power and heat.”

Jenna Lake

Jenna Lake

Meteorologist
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