It’s official – winter has finally made its debut in the Midwest. A storm system with high winds, frigid temperatures and heavy snows blasted portions of the Midwest Sunday with some areas expecting to get over a foot of snow when all is said and done. There were blizzard conditions in North and South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin which cut visibility and made for very dangerous driving that worsened as Sunday progressed.
The storm which was dubbed “Caesar”, barreled through the Twin Cities area of Minnesota Sunday, wreaking havoc. The Dept of Transportation in Minnesota reported very difficult driving conditions across southern portion of the state as blinding, heavy snows were making visibility difficult if not completely impossible. Residents of the Twin Cities reluctantly welcomed back winter as the area was clobbered by 16 inches of snow over the weekend. People there awoke Monday to a transformed landscape in the form of a wintery wonderland courtesy of the all-day snows that fell Sunday. Hundreds of car accidents were reported across that state, over 150 flights were canceled and Twin Cities’ Metro Transit buses were slowed to a snail’s pace, causing them to run late in many cases.
While the sun will be out on Monday in southern Minnesota, it won’t be a day without its challenges. Gusting winds will cause widespread drifting, making travel and cleanup all that more difficult. Last winter, the Twin Cities had very little snow all winter so this storm is a rude awakening to many who have neglected to prepare their cars and properties for Old Man Winter. Undoubtedly, there will be a lot of scurrying about early this week as Minnesotans rush to buy much-needed new snow tires for their vehicles as well assnow shovels and snow blowers.
MnDOT had to pull many of its plows off the roads Sunday in the southwest and western central portion of the state due to poor visibility. It also had to shut down a portion of I-90 due to heavy snowfall and drifting. People were being warned to stay off the roads unless travel was absolutely necessary and by the looks of things Sunday evening, most did heed that advice and stayed hunkered down inside their homes. Work crews were hard at it all day Sunday trying to clear the more deep snow from highways, exit ramps and bridges in the Twin Cities to prepare for Monday’s morning commute.
The winter storm system dumped several inches of snow across central and northern Wisconsin Sunday, making roadways slippery and treacherous. Between 6 and 8 inches of snow fell in Eau Claire Sunday, making it the first time residents there have had to take their shovels and snow blowers out of storage.