Area tackles snow once again

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 18, 2000

At the very least, Mother Nature should delay winter until the official calendar date.

Monday, December 18, 2000

At the very least, Mother Nature should delay winter until the official calendar date.

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That would be Thursday, of course, and mean Mower County residents are not enduring another winter blast already this month.

Many schools were canceled today and others either had late-starts or sent students home early as another weather forecast came true.

There was four inches of new snow on the ground this morning and it continued to fall throughout the day.

In the city of Austin, city engineer Jon W. Erichson ordered crews to hit the streets at 3 a.m.

That mean some 25 vehicles pushing, plowing and hauling snow from over 130 miles of city streets.

Another snow emergency ordinance was ordered at noon today for the next 72 hours.

Residents must obey the "no parking" restriction in the downtown Austin, Sterling Shopping Center and East Side business district areas.

Also, the "Odd" "even" parking begins as soon as a snow emergency is declared. This means, parking in residential areas only on the even-numbered sides of the streets on even-numbered calendar days (December 18, 20, 22) and odd-numbered sides of the street on odd-numbered days of the month (December 19, 21, 23).

Also residents are advised it is against the law to blow or shovel snow from sidewalks and driveways into city streets.

Lastly, residents should shovel the snow from fire hydrants to ensure quick sighting and access to the water supplies in the event of an emergency.

County crews at work

Mower County Highway Department crews were busy throughout the weekend.

Saturday’s strong winds caused drifting throughout the county’s over 400 miles of roads.

When the winds abated Sunday, the relief didn’t last and crews were back on the roads again today.

According to Mike Hanson, county engineer, when a major winter storm occurs, the highway department puts over 16 vehicles to work clearing roadways. Everything from small trucks to large trucks, motor graders, tandem trucks with wing and front plows and more go to work clearing roadways for Mower County residents.

Hanson said the strategically located shop buildings, where stockpiles of sand and salt are located, help expedite the application of protection at intersections and along curves. The shop building Mower County shares with the Minnesota Department of Transpiration at the Dexter – Windmill restaurant interchange along Interstate 90 is one example.

Speaking from his office at the highway department headquarters in Austin, Hanson could look out a window and see more snow falling late this morning.. "We must have over six inches now and it’s still coming down. It will be hours before this lets up and our crews can tackle the roads again," Hanson said.

Meanwhile, city engineer Erichson surveyed the scene also late this morning outside the Austin Municipal Building and said what’s on a lot of people’s minds today if not calendars: "It’s winter in Minnesota."