Mere freeways may be closed; but according to ever-vigilant NOAA, the rich planting benefits of global warming (or is it climate change this week) continue to accrue. Planting in Minnesota is JUST FINE; thank you very much. Snowdrifts 2 to 3 feet high, notwithstanding.
Tip to NOAA users: The ocean, which was supposed to be covering the beaches, has now gone elsewhere. Your climate watchdog is, well, a dog.
A late April snowstorm dumped a foot of snow or more across parts of western and northern Minnesota, forcing authorities to close a major freeway and St. Cloud State to cancel its spring football game. At least two deaths were blamed on the storm.
The National Weather Service received reports of an estimated 18 inches of snow in Pelican Rapids, 15 inches in Hawley and 13.5 inches in Wilkin.
Other snowfall reports include 12 inches in Donnelly, more than 10 inches in Hewitt and 9.5 inches north of Park Rapids. It also snowed in the Twin Cities but not as much.
“This is a good old, Old Man Winter at his last gasp. It’s going to be gone,” National Weather Service meteorologist Tony Zaleski in Chanhassen said of the Twin Cities snow, which measured 0.20 inches at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
But western Minnesota was dealing with snowdrifts 2 to 3 feet high.
“This is the pits,” Wheaton Inn owner Connie Churchill said Saturday. She said her family already had put the snowblower away, and it’s “buried in a shed out back, and we can’t get out to that.”
A wedding party was staying at her motel, Churchill said, and 10 guests for the wedding had to cancel. But the motel was able to make up for the 10 rooms by travelers pulling off the roads, she said.
A snowplow already had made two trips to her motel and was coming back a third time, Churchill said.
“It’s been six months of winter, so it’s been unbelievable,” she said.
The Fergus Falls Salvation Army played host to travelers stranded by the snowstorm.
“People were in ditches. There was no room in the hotels and everyone was sending them here,” Salvation Army volunteer Melinda Tripp told KBRF Radio of Fergus Falls.
The Minnesota State Patrol closed Interstate 94 from Moorhead to the Osakis area on Saturday because of poor travel conditions. Many vehicles, mainly semis, were in the ditch, a patrol dispatcher said.
Two men were killed Friday in a head-on crash near Alexandria in which authorities said snow and slippery roads were a factor.
Kenneth Wayne Klug, 62, of Garfield and Julian Ray Kvanbek, 73, of Evansville were trapped in their vehicles and had to be extricated, the Otter Tail County sheriff’s office said. Both drivers were pronounced dead at a hospital.
The snow prompted St. Cloud State to cancel its spring football game, as well as a youth football clinic and Football 101 Class that were scheduled Saturday. The school said there will be no makeup dates.