Cloquet digs out of spring stormConditions got so bad in Cloquet Thursday that the local postmaster called letter carriers off the street because of whiteout conditions and police responded to a total of nine accidents in the afternoon alone.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
Conditions got so bad in Cloquet Thursday that the local postmaster called letter carriers off the street because of whiteout conditions.
"It was the first time that's happened in five or six years," said Letter carrier Lance Wuolet Friday morning, as he delivered mail in central Cloquet. A bundled-up Wuolet said he was running about an hour late halfway through his route, because he had to trudge through high snow drifts and unshoveled sidewalks.
Cloquet Police Officer Kerrick Johnson said Friday got a little crazy. There were nine accidents in town between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., Kerrick responded to five of those himself. One was a "triple" accident, in which a car coming down Big Lake Road slid into another car, which slid into a third car.
"Some people were driving a little too fast for conditions; others were more visibility issues," Johnson said. "We're lucky we didn't have a lot of our usual calls -- I think people just hunkered down at home."
It's better today (Friday), now that most of the streets have been plowed. Johnson said they've responded to some traffic congestion caused by people getting stuck. And residents have slowly been digging their way out of close to 12 inches of snow (an unofficial estimate) as the sun tries to burn through the clouds. While there are still flakes in the air, the worst of the storm has passed.
But don't hang up the shovels yet.
The National Weather Service reports that another early spring storm is forecast to affect the Northland from Sunday into Monday morning. Just how much snow will fall remains uncertain at this point, but it looks like a widespread snowfall of 3 to 6 inches is possible, with some areas receiving more than a half-foot.
Right now the best chance for heavy snow appears to be in Northeastern Minnesota; there may be some rain mixed in with the snow in Northwestern Wisconsin.
Winds with the next storm should not be as strong as they were during the snow on Thursday and today, the Weather Service said.
Winter storm watches already have been posted in northwestern Minnesota, including for the Bemidji area, for Sunday into Monday.
Looking further into next week, it appears there may be another chance of accumulating snow on Wednesday and Thursday.
The Duluth News Tribune contributed to this story.