I would like to wish everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving. We have much to be thankful for. As we travel this holiday season, please be mindful of road conditions, since winter has arrived in full force.
Our first snow storm of the season presented a serious challenge to our state and local highway crews. I received a number of calls and emails outlining problems, especially ice pack on our roadways.
I have discussed our recent experience at length with our district highway officials. They were quite frank: The storm overpowered their effort to keep the ice pack from building up. This storm presented a combination of rain turning to wet snow falling on roadways that were at just the right temperature to build up ice pack, despite having all available equipment and highway crews out operating.
In general, east-west highway surfaces suffered the worst. While I received the bulk of calls about state highway conditions, county and township highway crews fared no better in preventing the ice buildup on some of their roads. MNDOT officials are looking at what they might have been done differently. There always is room for improvement, however, Mother Nature has a major vote in our ability travel during the winter season.
With last night’s arrival of more wet snow please be very cautious when traveling and give our highway crews plenty of room as they work to clear the roads.
It’s been a busy last few days. I attended the Minnesota Farm Bureau Annual Convention last week. As a former Aitkin-Carlton County Farm Bureau President it was great to see old friends from across Minnesota.
Yesterday, I participated in a phone conference call about the discovery of two chronic wasting disease (CWD) positive white tail deer near Preston, Minn., in the far southeastern part of the state. Both the Minnesota DNR and State Animal Board of Health have put measures into place to isolate and eradicate this disease. CWD is endemic to the wild deer herd in our neighboring states of Wisconsin and Iowa. This is not the first occurrence, several years ago a CWD positive deer was discovered near Pine Island in the same part of the state.
For more information on CWD and how to deal with deer that may be acting unusual please visit this link. Again, please be safe as we transition from a long and remarkably warm fall into winter.