The roads shouldn’t be as miserable around the Twin Cities as they were during Friday’s awful commute, but Monday may still bring with it a number of headaches. The good news is that most road conditions are better, but there are still some problem areas.
A fierce storm produced more than a foot of snow in some parts of Minnesota early Friday, where authorities advised against travel and schools closed, once again, during the long, grueling winter. And WCCO’s Mike Augustyniak said bitter cold temperatures moving back in aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
For parents in school districts that did cancel class, it was another day of figuring out what to do with the kids. For some families that meant paying for outside help.
With many schools in the area now on their fifth day off due to extreme cold conditions, some parents may understandably be trying to figure out how to combat cabin fever. Once again, the Mall of America’s Nickelodeon Universe is offering free rides.
The death of a motorist whose car got stuck in the snow in McLeod County may be weather related. The sheriff’s department says it received a report Monday of a man who had been missing since Sunday night.
The extremely cold weather means more days off for students, and more headaches for parents and schools. Tuesday marks the fifth time many schools have closed this month, including a rare, statewide shutdown by Governor Mark Dayton. For Marisa Lee’s children, Iris and William, it’s starting to feel like these cold, school-free days are becoming the norm. “They are really excited, of course. They’re loving all the days off,” Lee said.
About 100,000 residential customers in North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin were able to crank their thermostats back above 60 degrees Monday after a utility lifted its appeal for natural gas conservation following a weekend explosion in Canada that knocked out three pipelines.
Another round of subzero temperatures, high winds and drifting snow forced most Minnesota schools to stay closed Monday, with Minneapolis and St. Paul public schools already canceling classes for Tuesday.
Meteorologist Mike Augustyniak once again traded a few barbs with the morning crew from KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO in southern California on Monday morning. The last time Augustyniak talked with Dick Helton and the rest of them was during our blisteringly cold Christmas Eve.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation is reopening some major roadways closed earlier because of blowing and drifting snow. Interstate 90 west of Albert Lea reopened Monday morning after snowplows cleared the lanes and winds subsided.
The extreme cold isn’t just uncomfortable. It’s becoming expensive, too, especially for homeowners in rural Minnesota who rely on propane to heat their homes. Prices jumped last fall, and with several subzero nights this winter, the cost of propane continues to climb.
It’s a busy Friday afternoon at Parc Boutique in northeast Minneapolis. Racks full of women’s fashions greet the customers. But Parc’s owner, Thao Nguyen, says the recent cold snap has hurt her in-store sales. “It’s harder for people to come into the shop,” Nguyen said. Just like how tornadoes and hurricanes disrupt economic activity, there is also a steep cost to our cold weather. The lower the temperature drops, the fewer of us venture outside to shop, dine and recreate.
As cold as it might be, we’re still a long way from joining the ranks of the coldest Minnesota winters.
Another band of arctic air is descending into the northern U.S., bringing a wave of frigid temperatures expected to linger for most of the week. Temperatures plunged below zero in North Dakota and northern Minnesota on Monday morning.
The polar vortex that gripped much of the country has moved on, but don’t get too comfortable — another round of frigid air is expected to arrive next week across the northern U.S., from the Dakotas eastward to New England. It’ll be cold, but not the life-threatening cold of last week.