Reporting Rachel Slavik
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Besides the mashed potatoes and stuffing – Thanksgiving also served up some snow and cold.
Most of the metro area only had a couple of inches, but parts of Wisconsin saw up to a foot of snow. The winter weather caused hundreds of accidents around Minnesota, one day after temperatures reached into the 60s.
We all knew spring-like temperatures in November wouldn’t last; one day we’re on the golf course, the next – winter is upon us. It’s typical weather for Minnesota.
Minneapolis resident Brendan Obern knows that Minnesota weather can be unpredictable.
“I was born and raised in Minnesota. I know anything can happen. The difference between rain and snow is not very much,” Obern said.
Some of us weathered the dusting of snow better than others. It was a long cold night for shoppers waiting for stores to open, and drivers taking part in the Black Friday rush also had the chance to brush up on the winter driving skills.
Vanessa Voves of Minneapolis says her commute to find Black Friday deals was a little hair-raising.
“When you’re going down the hills…I have to brake way earlier than normal,” said Voves said.
On roadways, the Minnesota State Patrol reported 190 crashes and 239 vehicles off the road. More than two dozen crashes involved injuries.
“Last night, they were bad. But this morning they were a lot better. i mean, the neighborhoods are still kind of slippery, but the actual roads are good,” Voves said.
A first brush with snowy weather also came as a welcome sight for youngsters and some businesses.
For Ava and Stella Ford, the dusting of snow was just enough to build the first snowman of the year – even if he’s a tiny snowman.
“I think it’s great. I mean we didn’t have very much snow last winter, so this is good. I like playing in the snow,” Ava said.
At Settergren’s Ace Hardware, a fresh blanket of snow is also an opportunity to make up a loss after last year’s brown winter. According to Ace’s Carl McGrane, Black Friday sales aren’t the draw – its shovels and ice melt.
“It impacts a lot of people, and like last season with the lack of it, it can hurt,” McGrane said. “We seem to sell shovels every single year.”
The first brush with snowy weather, for now, is a welcome reminder of a Minnesota winter.
One of the crashes involved a state trooper who had minor injuries. According to State Patrol, the trooper was helping drivers who slid off the road near Sauk Rapids when a driver hit his squad car.
MnDOT did have plows and salt trucks on the road over the Thanksgiving holiday.