Minnesotans digging out after first big snowstorm of the season
Minneapolis (AP) — Sunday was a day for digging out after the first big snowstorm of the season pushed across Minnesota, dumping a foot of snow or more in northeastern parts of the state.
Grand Marais, on Lake Superior's North Shore, got 20 inches of snow, while Duluth set a Dec. 1 snowfall record of 10.3 inches, the National Weather Service said. Duluth's snowfall Saturday beat the previous record for that date of 7.3 inches, set in 1985, the weather service said.
The roads already were cleared in Grand Marais, and people were venturing out Sunday, according to Jane Shinners, owner of the Harbor Inn, a restaurant and motel in downtown Grand Marais.
"The snowmobiles are out already," she said.
Elsewhere in northeastern Minnesota, Babbitt reported 13 inches of fresh snow, Two Harbors 12 inches and International Falls nearly 5 inches.
The storm cut a broad swath across central and northeastern Minnesota before leaving the state Saturday night. Reports of 6 to 8 inches of snow were common in central Minnesota, the National Weather Service said.
Little Falls reported 8 inches of snow, Red Wing and Belgrade each got 7 inches, and St. Cloud received 6.3 inches of snow at the airport, the weather service said.
The snow made travel difficult across the state. As of 6 a.m. Sunday, the State Patrol reported almost 500 accidents in Minnesota. No fatal or serious accidents had been reported yet.
Since forecasters started warning about the impending storm days in advance, Minnesotans had plenty of time to prepare.
The snow was welcomed by winter enthusiasts.
While shopping at Kowalski's market in St. Paul on Saturday, Jennifer Howe said that her 4-year-old daughter, Ellie, was "thrilled" that she could play in heavy snow.
"She cannot wait," Howe said.