Winter hits the NorthlandWhile the Duluth airport reported seven inches of snow accumulation Wednesday morning and all Duluth area schools closed for the day, Cloquet came in at closer to three inches. Kids here attended school, on time and in winter boots.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
While the Duluth airport reported seven inches of snow accumulation Wednesday morning and all Duluth area schools closed for the day, Cloquet came in at closer to three inches. Kids here attended school, on time and in winter boots.
But it wasn’t all business Wednesday morning, at least for the Rud children. Abigail, 10, LilyMae, 7, and Eli, 9, managed to complete their first snowman of the season, four days before Halloween.
Compared to other cities in the region, Cloquet escaped relatively unscathed.
“We didn’t anticipate this much so soon,” said Les Peterson, Cloquet’s street department superintendent, noting that the department had finished preparing its winter sand and salt mix and putting sanders and other equipment on city trucks. “The biggest problem was all the rain before. Between a few days of rain and last night’s snow, we’ve got a few roads under water.”
Peterson said both Connors and Cartwright roads west of Cloquet had water over the road, as well as Laine Road. north of Cloquet.
City workers were out in force Wednesday morning, and Peterson said they would be out again Thursday morning, in case the streets started freezing.
On Wednesday morning, Minnesota Power reported approximately 6,500 customers without power (primarily in the Duluth area), down from 11,000 the night before.
“It was quite an intense storm,” the company’s communications manager, Amy Rutledge, said, “that included heavy rain causing trees to uproot and heavy snow and wind causing tree limbs to fall onto power lines.”
Rutledge said crews worked through the night to restore power and had cut the 11,000 number to less than half by 5:30 a.m. only to have more people lose power as the
In Cloquet, there were only scattered outages. Peterson’s crews were called out at 1:30 a.m. to deal with some downed trees across the road, but there were no outages as a result of those trees, which Peterson speculated came down due to the wind rather than the weight of the wet snow.
“It’s not much fun, all wet and sloppy, and we all have to remember how to drive in winter weather,” he said. “But it’s good for the deer hunters. They need that tracking snow.”
Jana Hollingsworth and Andrew Krieger of the Duluth News Tribune contributed to this story.