April blizzard rages across
Likelihood of rapid thaw triggers flooding concerns in northern half of state
MSNBC and NBC News, April. 11, 2008
Minnesotans were surprised Friday by a springtime blizzard that dumped more than a foot of snow on central and northern communities, cut off power to thousands of residents and shut down major roadways.
The U.S. Postal Service canceled mail delivery in
The main post office in
The Duluth Transit Authority canceled all bus service, and while
I would recommend no travel at all, unless its absolutely essential, and I mean absolutely essential not just for fun, he said.
Flooding fears already grip region
Once things settle down Saturday afternoon, spring-like conditions should return rapidly, promising difficult conditions for northern
Its spring in the Northland, and that means roller coaster weather, said Carol Christenson, a forecaster with the National Weather Service.
By Sunday, were talking [temperatures in the] 40s and maybe even 50s and 60s by the start of next week, which will mean rapid melting and the fear of flooding.
As forecasts made it clear that the storm would reach blizzard proportions, residents rushed to grocery stores, expecting a long siege.
You had people coming in on cross-country skis and snowmobiles and ATVs and every which way they could get here, said Gary Sorensen, a manager at Cub Foods in
Im stocking up mainly on fruits and vegetables and some meats. I plan on making some chili again, since its winter all over, Linda Perry of
Sue Anderson, who was visiting from
Well, its spring in
Farther east, in
More than 40 school districts called off classes for the day as high winds reduced visibility to dangerous levels.
The late snowfall will mean another round of cleanup efforts, taxing budgets in the region.
Road commissioners in
If the snow keeps coming, they said, they might have to cut back other projects, such as resurfacing roads and filling potholes.
These last two snowfalls have been hard on the equipment, being so heavy, said Mark Ellis, a truck driver with the Road Commission.
Theyre dangerous because the ground is soft. You have to careful so you dont get into accidents. ... With late snow storms, you do a lot more damage than you are helpful.
By Alex Johnson of msnbc.com with NBC affiliates KBJR of Duluth, Minn., and WLUC of Marquette, Mich.