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Area gets about 10 inches of snow; Cold temperatures expected later this week

Mower County residents found themselves digging out this weekend as heavy snow blanketed the area late Saturday and early Sunday.

Initially predicting 4 to 7 inches, the National Weather Service increased the number to 8 to 10 or more inches Saturday evening.

“As the snow event got closer, our confidence in the higher amounts started increasing,” said National Weather Service La Crosse Meteorologist Todd Shea.

Several reports out of Mower County indicated the area received about 10 inches, Shea said. That trend continued up into Rochester, which also reported about 10 inches. Shea said the amount of snow decreased to the north and south of the area.

The City of Austin declared a snow emergency effective at 8 a.m. on Sunday. Snow emergencies last for 72-hour periods (unless the city shortens or extends the declaration), during which Austin residents are required to park their vehicles in accordance with the Snow Emergency Parking Ordinance. Parking rules can be found at www.ci.austin.mn.us/snow-emergencies-2.html.

Despite the road conditions, emergency personnel responded to two accidents on Sunday in Austin and eight accidents in the county, according to Austin Police Chief David McKichan. None of the accidents resulted in injuries.

The heavy snow resulted in the postponement of the annual Smashing Cancer Demolition Derby, which was supposed to take place on Sunday. The event has been rescheduled for 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15, at the Mower County Fairgrounds.

Subzero temperatures later this week

Looking down the line, Mower County can expect a chance of light snow on Wednesday, followed by temperatures falling below zero Wednesday night and Thursday.

“We don’t expect a lot of snow with the next snow event, but Thursday will be colder than normal with temperatures reaching below zero,” Shea said. “With wind chills, we could have temperatures that feel like 20 to 30 below. You can expect wind chill advisories.”

Shea advised limiting any time spent outdoors on Thursday if possible.