It’s back ... winter returns with vengeance
Thick layer of ice locks up region; makes treacherous travel, closes schools, causes power outages, downed trees, damage
Area public works crews are scrambling this week to clean up storm-damaged trees and branches.
Freezing rain and falling temperatures caused thick ice to build up on trees, shrubs and power lines.
The weight of the ice, coupled with stiff, 40-mph winds, proved too much for many limbs, which fell on streets and boulevards in communities all over the region.
Luverne’s power lines are underground, but there were intermittent outages — including one that lasted an hour and a half — caused by a break in service from the power feed coming into town from the south.
Another outage Wednesday afternoon in Luverne was caused by a break in service from the power feed coming into town from the north. This one delayed the Star Herald press run by several hours.
Out-county communities, such as Magnolia, Beaver Creek, Hills,
According to Public Works Supervisor John Stoffel, as of noon Tuesday, crews had cleaned up 10 sites where entire trees had fallen, in addition to numerous sites with lesser damage.
That seemed minor compared to the damage that occurred overnight. Luverne and communities all over the region looked like a war zone with fallen branches and broken tree trunks littering yards, boulevards and streets.
Junk Days postponed
The city of Luverne has postponed its citywide “junk days” pickup scheduled for next week, April 15-18, to a later date.
Instead, city crews will be focusing their efforts on tree and branch cleanup.
Luverne residents are asked to put downed branches at the curb once the storm is over, and city crews will pick them up as conditions allow.
Treacherous roads, canceled schools
Around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, the Minnesota State Patrol issued a road advisory for dangerous road conditions.
“The southwest corner of Minnesota is receiving snow and winds,” the advisory stated, citing areas between Pipestone and Marshall as particularly hazardous.
“Troopers on the road say visibility is very, very poor and Minnesota State Patrol Captain John Ebner, working out in the storm, advises do not drive/travel.”
Schools throughout the entire tri-state area let out early Tuesday afternoon and canceled classes for Wednesday.
The forecast for Tuesday through Wednesday night called for increasing precipitation changing over to snow with nearly 10 inches of moisture expected.
As of Wednesday morning, local weather recorder Troy Thone reported just over a half inches of precipitation, much of which could be measured as ice.