The blizzard Northland residents were warned about last week has arrived and it's brought everything that was promised and more. This long-duration storm has already brought wet, heavy heart attack snow, strong winds, thundersnow, impressive snowfall totals and even falling sheets of ice.

Once round one was over, many Northland residents were doing their best to clean up the accumulating ice and snow in preparation for round two, which arrived as expected just before midnight Wednesday. This second round is expected to continue through Thursday, delivering yet another round of significant snowfall.

With that in mind, the Minnesota Department of Transportation wants to remind residents that it is illegal to deposit snow on or next to a public highway or street. They note that it's imperative to keep roads clear for everyone’s safety.

“Placing snow on or near a public road creates hazards, including drainage, drifting, sight obstruction and unsafe access,” said Kohl Skalin, Maintenance Superintendent. “Please keep crosswalks, intersections, entrances and exits clean and unobstructed.”

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It's not only a best practice, Minnesota law and many local ordinances actually prohibit the plowing, blowing, shoveling or otherwise placing of snow onto public roads or sidewalks. This includes the ditch and right of way area along the roads.

Violations of this law are considered misdemeanors, but civil penalties also apply if the placement of snow creates a hazard, such as a slippery area, frozen rut or bump, that contributes to a motor vehicle or pedestrian crash. The civil liability can extend not only to the property owner, but also to the person who placed the snow in harms way.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation adds with crews are out this week clearing the winter storm, it's important that everyone gives them plenty of space to work and please remember that it takes time to cleanup the roadways during and after a snow storm.

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