Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Wind and snow equal brutal conditions on the Minnesota prairie January 7, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 8:07 PM

Minnesota Highway 30, which we drove last Friday, is closed today due to white-out conditions. When this photo was shot a week ago, snow was blowing and drifting across the highway.

TRAVELING LAST WEEK through Watonwan, Cottonwood and Redwood counties was enough to jog my memory of just how brutal winters can be on the southwestern Minnesota prairie where I grew up.

Fierce winds whip snow across open fields and across roadways, hardening into glacial-like ridges. I was thankful last Friday that snow wasn’t falling too as we were driving Minnesota Highways 60 and 30, or we would have been in trouble. You don’t want to find yourself in the middle of nowhere, in white-out conditions, in temperatures that are in the sub-zero range.

That was a week ago.

Today, a dangerous winter storm rages across the southwestern corner of Minnesota. Nearly every roadway, including the interstate, is closed and snowplows have been pulled off the roads.

Winds are pushing the feather-light snow onto highways and county roads, forming rock-hard drifts that make travel impossible. Semis and cars are stuck, stopped right there in traffic lanes, trapped in impassable snowdrifts.

This is the reality of wind and snow on the Minnesota prairie.

The southwestern Minnesota prairie, in the summer, is a place of remarkable beauty. I took this photo several years ago near Walnut Grove, the childhood home of author Laura Ingalls Wilder.

© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


2 Responses to “Wind and snow equal brutal conditions on the Minnesota prairie”

  1. kim alberty Says:

    The southwest Minnesota prairie photo is very nice. Is this photo avilable to purchase? I would like to enlarge it, have it framed and use it in my office to depict a Minnesota prairie landscape.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Kim, I’m glad you enjoyed my prairie photos. I will be in touch with you via email to discuss options for purchasing my photo.

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