SAINT PAUL, Minn. — Icy sidewalks and potholes are introducing another element for the organizers of this weekend's St. Patrick's Day parades in Minneapolis and Saint Paul.
The constant freeze-thaw cycle is turning puddles into hidden patches of ice.
"It seems like most often it's on the sidewalk or just as they're getting into or out of their car," Hennepin Healthcare emergency room physician Dr. Andy Laudenbach says.
Doctors at Hennepin Healthcare have been treating fall-related injuries all week.
They saw five cases Friday morning alone.
"A lot of wrist, injuries, ankle injuries, and some head injuries," Laudenbach.
And they’re expecting more cases this weekend.
"People might be doing a little bit of drinking with the festivities. With ice you really need to be performing at your best and alcohol doesn't help you do that,” Laundebach says.
Saint Paul Public Works says the roads should be clear for the parade.
"We've removed snow downtown along the parade route. We've been pothole patching our streets all week," public works spokesperson Lisa Hiebert says.
The sidewalks should also be free of ice, but with warm days and cold nights, city officials say the melted snow could freeze up again.
City officials say they’ll take care of the roads this weekend, but when it comes to sidewalks, it's up to the property owners to keep them clear.
Both Minneapolis and Saint Paul have one-sided parking bans in effect.
The parking ban affects all even-sided parking, so drivers should remember to park on the odd side of the street.