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Brunt of storm hits elsewhere

Brunt of storm hits elsewhere
7 year old, Lucas Rietveld and Kristy Karow shovel the heavy snow Sunday afternoon.

After a week of spring-like weather, winter has come roaring back.

A mix of ice and snow began falling at about 7:30 a.m. Sunday and it will continue through today.

Austin only received 3.2 inches of snow and another 1 to 4 inches are possible. However, farther north, snowfall totals were higher, with Rochester getting 5.4 inches, Winona getting 8.6 inches and the Twin Cities getting a foot or more.

Minnesota Department of Transportation spokesman Kevin Gutknecht noted that at least Monday's light holiday traffic would make more room for snow plows. Blowing snow was expected to make clearing the roads difficult.

"If people don't need to travel, they shouldn't," Gutknecht said. "It's really hard for people to see."


The University of Minnesota closed its Twin Cities campus until noon Monday, and the Minnesota Historical Society postponed its History Matters Day at the Capitol in St. Paul.

Rochester residents Gary Kruse and Laurie Gilbertson were both trying to clear their vehicles of snow in a downtown Rochester parking lot Sunday morning, but they didn't have much luck keeping them clear.

The snow was falling about an inch an hour.

"It's tough to come back to snow when we've had it so good," Kruse said.

"It's like they say, 'If you don't like Minnesota weather, wait a while. It will change,'" Gilbertson said.

Bob Rickard said this winter's snow has been "never ending."

Rickard, who does maintenance for Mayo Civic Center, said he was trying his best to keep the event center plowed.

"You go around, come back and it's like you haven't even plowed," Rickard said.


Rickard said the the Dress Event, a wedding expo with about 100 vendors, was going to shut down early because of the weather. A flea market was also canceled.

"I'm doing the best I can to keep the sidewalks clear so people can get in while it's still open," Rickard said.

Fontaine Towers resident Bill Preston was also trying to clear snow in front of the downtown Rochester apartment complex.

"They say there's no two snowflakes alike," Preston said. "How is that possible? I don't believe it."

Preston enjoys volunteering his time shoveling the sidewalks.

When he's finished there, he said he would head over to the Dorothy Day House and shovel their sidewalk, too.

"It keeps me out of trouble," Preston said.

He figures he's got another month of winter weather to deal with yet.


Both city and MnDOT snow plow operators have been out on the roads.

Driving conditions were listed as "difficult" in most of the region this morning, according to MnDOT's traveler information website.

So far, there hasn't been any closures of interstate highways or other roads, however, there have been brief lane closures where crashes have occurred.

Several cars were reported in the ditch on Interstate 90, U.S. 52 and U.S. 14 on Sunday.

Area sheriff's department dispatchers reported few accidents today.

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