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.
© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling