Ice-related injuries sent more than 200 patients to the hospital Tuesday morning in Minneapolis, St. Paul and other metro cities. Here's a breakdown:
HCMC paramedics: 90 calls, half for ice-related falls
Allina paramedics: 40 calls for ice injuries
Regions Hospital (St. Paul): 19 ice injuries
Unity Hospital (Fridley): 70 patients
Mercy Hospital (Coon Rapids): 38 patients
Abbott Northwestern (Minneapolis): 14 patients
Injuries ranged from minor bruises and concussions to broken bones requiring intensive care.
WHY SO SLIPPERY?
Sidewalks were especially slippery Tuesday morning after light precipitation Monday night and below-freezing overnight lows. MnDOT plows were able to salt and sand highways, but bridges, on/off ramps and some city streets remained slick.
TOO ICY FOR GARBAGE PICKUP
Roads were too slippery in St. Louis Park and Blaine for city-contracted garbage pickup.
In St. Paul, to report a sidewalk that's a safety hazard, contact the Department of Safety & Inspections online.
In Minneapolis, property owners are responsible for clearing ice from sidewalks, which can be more dangerous than snow. Call 311 to report a problem sidewalk. Free sand is available to Minneapolis residents at multiple drop sites around the city. Get more information online here.
ICY WEATHER INJURY PREVENTION
- Wear smart shoes. Choose those with non-slip, grooved rubber or neoprene soles. Check out the devices you can clip onto your boots or shoes for better traction. Don't wear shoes or boots with smooth leather or plastic soles.
- Walk small. Imitate the way a penguin takes short, shuffling, flat-footed steps with the feet pointed slightly outward.
- Walk cautiously. Your arms help you keep your balance, Don't walk with your hands in your pockets and avoid carrying heavy or bulky packages.
- Watch where you walk. Assume any dark, wet spots are slippery. Sometimes what appears to simply be wet might be an invisible layer of "black" ice.
- Always use handrails where they are available.
- Wear sunglasses on sunny days. The bright glare can make it hard to see slippery surfaces.
- Wearing heavy layers can help cushion a fall should you go down, but be careful not to wear too much bulk so that it hinders your movement or blocks your vision or hearing.
- Don't forget to remove snow and ice from the bottom of your shoes once you get inside. Wet feet can make a bare floor as slippery as the ice is outside.
- Help your elderly friends and relatives on snow and ice. Slips and falls can be extremely dangerous for seniors. If you are older, don't shy away from asking others for a helping hand.