News Flash

Wright County News

Posted on: October 21, 2020

Ready for Round 2 of Winter Storms in Wright County? Or Even Round 3?

As much of Minnesota digs out from the first snowstorm of the season, which dumped anywhere from four to eight inches of wet, heavy snow throughout a significant portion of the state, the hope was that it wouldn’t last long because Thursday was supposed to bring rain that could wash much of that away.

However, that plan is being rethought by meteorologists who are now projecting Wright County may be seeing a second and third round of snow before the start of the work week next week.

Wright County Highway Department Maintenance Supervisor Steve Meyer said Tuesday’s storm was stronger than expected and the snow came down so fast around noon that visibility dropped to next to nothing and most of the roads in the county system deteriorated very quickly. The combination kept the Highway Department plow crews on the roads for almost 18 hours.

“When we get hammered that hard so quickly, it sets us back in the plowing because you have to hit a lot of the roads more than once,” Meyer said. “We had all the roads clear of snow and pretty black by 5:30 or 6 this morning for the morning commute. It wasn’t perfect, but they were what I would call fair to good shape, but not dry.”

Just as residents start getting back on the roads for work and school, the bad news is that Round 2 of storms may be on the way tonight into Thursday morning.

There is a cutoff line for a Winter Storm Watch projecting six or more inches of snow that touches the northwest border of the county near Clearwater. While Wright County is just outside the watch box of counties in the heavy snow watch, the bigger problem could be that this weather system won’t be all snow. The Twin Cities are projected to get all rain. As close as St. Cloud is predicted to get all snow. Wright County is in the unenviable spot in between.

“We’ve already been getting updates,” Meyer said. “What the National Weather Service is telling us now is that we could get 2-3 inches of more snow very late tonight and into tomorrow. But, some of the forecasts say it could be snow, rain or an icy mix in between. Obviously, we want one or the other – all rain or all snow – because the ice and freezing rain makes road conditions really bad in a hurry.”

Meyer said that typically in situations like this where there is a cutoff line, the worst place to be is in the middle of all-snow and all-rain. It produces a wintry mix that can be more dangerous for drivers that if it was all snow – even heavy amounts – because ice can coat the surface of the road.

“We’re right on the edge, so we’re going to preparing for freezing rain,” Meyer said. “That’s not a good place to be. We’ll be monitoring it and we’ll be more aggressive with salting the roads if looks like that’s what we’re going to get.”

Meyer and his crew have been receiving updates of projections for the next line of storms. Wright County Emergency Services sends out releases it gets from the National Weather Service as well as other services like Weather Underground. For the next round of storms, Weather Underground is projecting Wright County to receive three inches of snow on average for location starting about 6 a.m. Thursday, which is about the worst time to get a freezing rain event – the typical start of the morning commute. The peak of the storm event is projected to pass over Wright County about noon.

If there is any good news for this round of storms, it is that the temperatures are expected to be in the mid-30s, which is conducive to letting the chemicals the Highway Department treats roads with to work more effectively.

“Any time we can get temperatures in the 30s and above freezing, we’ll take it,” Meyer said. “You can still get snow and freezing rain when the temperature is above 32 degrees. The difference is that the salting we do on the roads takes a lot better when you’re in the mid-30s instead of being at 32 or below that. The salt is much more effective when you’re above freezing.”

As if two early-season snow events isn’t enough, a third is potentially on the horizon for the weekend, making a bad situation worse. Meyer’s crew is going to be stretched thin by Sunday if the projections are accurate, but it’s part of the job when you need to clear Minnesota roads for motorists.

“Right now, we’re looking at another 2½ inches on Sunday morning,” Meyer said. “We still a ways out from that, but that’s what the projection is at this time. We’ll keep monitoring that one because, if it comes, we have to be ready to get after it and keep the roads at safe as we can.”

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Wright County News

Wright County Has Job Openings

Posted on: July 23, 2021

WCEDP Has Redesigned Website

Posted on: July 9, 2021

WOW Van in Monticello Today

Posted on: July 1, 2021

WOW Van Coming to Monticello July 1

Posted on: June 23, 2021

Wright County Fair Schedule Released

Posted on: June 21, 2021

Highway 30 Project Delayed

Posted on: June 1, 2021

May 9-15 Is National Police Week

Posted on: May 11, 2021

Appointments Open at License Center

Posted on: April 30, 2021

DNR EagleCam Up and Running

Posted on: April 27, 2021

Roadside Spraying

Posted on: April 22, 2021

DNR Has Interactive Bird Song Page

Posted on: April 21, 2021

Appointments Open at License Center

Posted on: April 2, 2021

First Half Property Taxes Due May 17

Posted on: April 1, 2021

I-94 Construction Ramping Up

Posted on: March 29, 2021

HHS Announces New Call Center

Posted on: March 26, 2021

First Half Property Taxes Due May 17

Posted on: March 24, 2021

Virtual Tour of Justice Center

Posted on: March 10, 2021

Fish Houses Must Be Off Lakes By Monday

Posted on: February 24, 2021

Two 4-H Summer Internships Available

Posted on: February 17, 2021

Members of Solar Farm Work Group Named

Posted on: February 16, 2021

I-35W Bridge to Glow Purple Tonight

Posted on: February 16, 2021

View Today's Press Conference

Posted on: February 11, 2021

Sheriff's Office Statement on Shooting

Posted on: February 9, 2021

County Offices Closed Monday, Jan. 18

Posted on: January 15, 2021

Public Health Releases COVID-19 Dashboard

Posted on: December 31, 2020

DNR Warning Residents About Thin Ice

Posted on: December 18, 2020

MEADA Receives $125,000 Federal Grant

Posted on: December 10, 2020

Public Health Releases COVID-19 Dashboard

Posted on: November 30, 2020

Sheriff's Office Releases Activity Report

Posted on: November 30, 2020

Sheriff's Office Releases Activity Report

Posted on: November 16, 2020

Santa Coming to Bertram Park Dec. 5

Posted on: November 5, 2020

View the Ballot You Will Be Filling Out

Posted on: October 21, 2020

Buckthorn a Problem in Woodland Areas

Posted on: October 13, 2020

Tuesday is National Voter Registration Day

Posted on: September 18, 2020

Absentee Voting In Person Starts Friday

Posted on: September 14, 2020

CSAH 30 Project Nearing Completion

Posted on: September 8, 2020

Road Work on Hwy. 25 Starting Sept. 8

Posted on: September 3, 2020

Sirens to Sound at 1 P.M. Today, But Why?

Posted on: September 2, 2020

Road Closure in Monticello Tuesday

Posted on: August 24, 2020

Why Are Flags at Half-Mast Today?

Posted on: August 19, 2020

Where Is My Polling Place Location?

Posted on: August 10, 2020