by Dennis Dalman
A November weather-policy communiqué was no more released by Sartell schools than the city was struck with a blizzard Nov. 10, forcing school closings across Minnesota, including in Sartell, where at least one foot of snow fell.
Sartell schools started two hours late Tuesday. Street crews in the city worked non-stop in the wee hours of Monday well through the daylight hours, as well as on Tuesday to clear roads.
Every school in central Minnesota was closed Monday or had late-morning starts the next day, including the universities and the vocational school. Many other meetings and events were also canceled because travel was, at best, fraught with dangers.
Massive amounts of blowing snow fell over much of the northern United States, and in central Minnesota it was the most snow received this early in the season since a blizzard that happened on Halloween day in 1991.
It also topped the record for snow on Nov. 10, breaking the previous record, which was only two inches that fell on Nov. 10, 1996.
The snow began falling at 2 a.m. Monday and continued all day, whipped by winds as strong as 25 mph, which greatly reduced visibility caused by the powdery snow being whipped into roadways and elsewhere.
There were scores of fender-bender-type accidents reported throughout the area, and a few of them resulted in minor injuries.
Some places in central Minnesota received as many as 16 inches of snow.
The National Weather Service released a winter storm warning until noon Tuesday. Meteorologists are blaming the massive storm on weather conditions produced by the aftermath of Typhoon Nuri, near Alaska, which pushed cold air into the United States. Temperatures plummeted to 20- to 40-degrees below average in a huge swath of the nation’s 48 states. Snow covered the northern states – Montana, the Dakotas, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.