No travel advised in Becker County
The county is advising no unnecessary travel on Tuesday due to a massive storm system that has dumped more than eight inches of snow on the Detroit Lakes area.
Becker County Sheriff Tim Gordon said although plows are out, even emergency vehicles are having a tough time on roads.
Township and rural roads, he said, are particularly "soft" and not suitable for driving.
As of about 9 a.m. Tuesday, Detroit Lakes had received more than eight inches of snow, with estimates between a foot and 18 inches by the day's end.
"If it maintains this level of intensity, I think we'll see 12 inches easily," Gordon said.
Plows started running at 5 a.m., said Detroit Lakes Public Works Director Brad Green, and are working on clearing the snow from all emergency routes.
With the rate that the snow is falling, however, Green said the plow drivers will have to retrace those emergency routes a few times today, so some side streets may not get cleared as fast.
"Where we plowed at 5 a.m., you can't tell anymore, so we've got to go back and keep the hospitals, nursing homes, main streets cleared," Green said.
This breed of heavy, wet snow, he said, is tough to clear, so it may take a while, but workers will be plowing and sanding throughout the day, and will meet again at 4 a.m. Wednesday to resume or finish cleanup.
Most main business and heavy traffic areas will be plowed first, and repeatedly, before side roads are taken care of.
Becker County Engineer Brad Wentz said visibility has become an issue as plows are on the roads.
County plows have been out since between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. and Wentz said they'll stay out until about 4 p.m. unless visibility gets the best of them.
"It's pretty difficult to see right now," he said. "We'll watch it and see with the wind, we'll see, we may have to pull them out if it gets too bad."
High-volume roads will be cleared first, Wentz said, but some have already had to be plowed twice early this morning.
"They've hit some and come back and there was already four or five inches on the road," he said.