Snowfall sidestep; Storm dumps 5 in. in Austin, 8.2 in Grand Meadow
Published 10:16 am Tuesday, December 29, 2015
The snow came Monday, but the brunt of the storm appears to have skirted Austin.
Austin and Mower County were digging out Tuesday morning after a storm dumped about 5 inches of snow in Austin and about 8.2 in Grand Meadow, according to The National Weather Service.
Rochester International Airport recorded 7.2 inches, northeast Rochester recorded 5.5, Celedonia saw 8 inches and Blue Earth saw 7 inches. The weather service reported totals topping 11 inches in northeast Iowa, while close to a foot fell in Wisconsin and the Lake Michigan shoreline.
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In Mower County, the wintry weather snow caused many cancelations, and warnings were issued Monday for dangerous travel. Smart Transit closed all services and routes in Albert Lea and Austin at 5 p.m. Monday. Closures also included Riverland Community College (all sites); Austin YMCA preschool, gymnastics, swim programs and youth tennis; VFW Bingo; Mayo Clinic Health System in Adams and LeRoy; and the LeRoy Community dinner was canceled.
As snow moved out of the area, a winter storm warning was canceled Tuesday morning well before it was originally set to expire at noon.
In the Twin Cities, spinouts and accidents complicated the morning commute on slippery highways and interstates.
Minnesota Department of Transportation engineer Scott McBride said hundreds of plow drivers worked extended shifts to clear 12,000 miles of roadway.
Flurries are possible on Wednesday, but there are no big storm systems on the horizon.
However, after a warm fall and warm start to winter, it looks like 2015 will close and 2016 will open on a cold note. Tuesday and Wednesday will see highs in the low to mid-20s before temperatures drop to a high of 16 and a low of 6 on Thursday. The high on New Year’s Day is 18.
High temperatures are expected to remain in the low 20s and upper teens for the first few weeks of January.
City issues snow emergency
A snow emergency started for the city of Austin at 8 p.m. Monday night and will last for three days.
Parking in city business areas will be prohibited from 1 to 8 a.m. during the 72-hour snow emergency. Business areas include the midtown area, the Sterling Shopping Center, the Hormel Foods Corp. plant area and the East Side businesses.
All vehicles on streets, avenues, places and drives in the city from 8 a.m. to 8 a.m. the next day must be be parked only on the side of the street with even numbers postal addresses on even-numbered days of the month. Similarly, they shall be parked only on the odd-numbered side of the street on odd-numbered days of the month.
—The Associated Press contributed to this report.