Snowy drive prompts commuters to leave early

ST. PAUL, Minn—The "Midwest Monster" storm reared its head mid-afternoon and struck fear when it came to rush hour.

Many people left work early to get home safely. Snow was wet, heavy and stuck to the roads quickly, causing drivers to strategize the best and shortest way home.

"They let everybody go at work that means they are out on the road stuck now so by the time I leave maybe everybody will be home and I won't have such a hard time," said Howard Ray, of Brooklyn Park, who had his own strategy of staying at work late to miss traffic.

The storm is a memory for Maria de Barros, who paused on a corner to take photos of the snowfall. She's a musician from the Cabo Verde Islands who performed at the Ordway Wednesday night. She didn't envision this encore performance.

"Especially since we are going to go home today and our flight is cancelled and we can't get out until Saturday coming from Los Angeles with amazing sun and warm weather," she said. "So now I am going to stay a few more days to relax is how I should look at it."

Sally Kost works at Kinkaid's restaurant and the snow brought her work day to an abrupt end.

"We had only 20 reservations," said Kost. "Because of snow, obviously a bunch of servers got cut."

The wait is reserved for rush hour. There were plenty of reservations on the road but in parts of St. Paul the commute moved quickly, despite slushy roads, showing evidence of many commuters leaving early.

"But it's Minnesota, it could be worse, it could be 50 below zero and 12 inches of snow," said Ray.


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