Another wallop of winter
After a glimmer of spring arose last week, it was thoroughly buried under a heavy dose of winter on Sunday.
A slow-but-steady snowfall started Sunday and kept on going.
It wasn't the big flaky stuff - it was more like fine silt - but it gradually built up into one big mess by early Monday morning.
The snowfall totals varied widely, from six inches in Alexandria to eight inches in Carlos, but that fails to capture the extent of the storm.
Whipped by gusting winds of 30 miles per hour, the snow formed waist-high drifts in some driveways, giving snowblowers a tough workout and shovelers aching backs.
It also made for a busy Monday morning for snowplow crews. They were out in full force to open up clogged roads and streets.
In Alexandria, the snow was piled more than six feet high in the middle of some roads before it could be hauled away.
Cars parked along city streets were blocked and buried by large piles of snow after the plows went by.
Most schools in the area did not have to be cancelled because they were closed anyway in observance of Presidents Day.
Three bright spots of winter's return: The snow was the dry, powdery variety that was a little easier to blow away; our area received about half the amount of snow as the Twin Cities area; and no serious accidents were reported in the Douglas County area.
The snow won't be melting away anytime soon. Temperatures are expected to get into the upper 20s today but plunge to single-digits by the end of the week.
To help snow removal efforts, drivers are encouraged to move their vehicles off city streets after any significant snowfall.
The police department will place "red tag" warnings on vehicles parked along streets that are hampering snowplow efforts. Owners then have 24 hours to move the vehicles or they may be towed at the owner's expense.
If a snow emergency is declared, the city has the authority to immediately tow any vehicles parked on city streets that are impeding snow removal efforts.
City ordinances also state that after snow ceases to fall, property owners have 24 hours to clean off their sidewalks - or the city will do it for them and hand them the bill.
The ordinance applies to all businesses and property owners with sidewalks.
People also have to be mindful of where they are depositing the snow. They can't just dump it into the street - that's also a violation of city ordinances.
If people see sidewalks that are blocked by snow or see someone depositing snow on a public street, they're encouraged to call the street department at (320) 763-3080.