Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

The view from Faribault during today’s major winter storm April 14, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 2:16 PM
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Approaching the intersection of Minnesota State Highway 60 and Division Street in Faribault around 10:30 a.m.


ROAD CLOSED. Difficult driving conditions. Travel not advised.


I ducked under a canopy to shoot this image in the heart of downtown Faribault late this morning.


It’s bad out there folks. Not that I’ve been anywhere except in the downtown area of Faribault today. But that was enough to show me that this major winter storm is exactly as predicted.


Driving along Second Avenue toward the intersection with Minnesota State Highway 60 in Faribault. Lots of folks were out this morning buying groceries and getting video rentals.


In the 1.5 hours I was out this morning, precipitation transitioned from light snow to heavy. You couldn’t see a block away with strong winds reducing visibility. I can only imagine the view in the open countryside.


That’s Fareway Foods, barely visible from across Minnesota State Highway 60 in Faribault.


Right now we’re in a lull. The weather looks deceptively calm. Just like it did this morning when I awakened, observed only a light layer of frozen precip on the ground and thought, “This is it, the big storm they were forecasting.”


Eastbound on Minnesota State Highway 60 in downtown Faribault shortly before noon.


Hours later I wasn’t thinking that as I braced into the wind-driven snow, head down, heading back to the van.


Passing by the Faribault Police Department, right, around 11:30 a.m.


I’m home now, about to stir up a batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and later bake garlic rosemary focaccia. I’d rather be where I was supposed to be today—attending my granddaughter’s second birthday party an hour away. That’s been delayed. And to think, her California family flew in just for the party, only to find themselves in the midst of a major winter storm. Welcome to winter in Minnesota.

© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


16 Responses to “The view from Faribault during today’s major winter storm”

  1. hotlyspiced Says:

    I’m not sure I would know what to do in a storm like that. I certainly wouldn’t be brave enough to venture onto the roads! Incredible that you’re having such a vicious snowstorm at this time of the year. Meanwhile, we are having the summer that will never end. On Friday it was the hottest April day on record – 34C (93F). Personally, I’m not complaining as I’m no fan of the cold. I’ve read reports that have said that this year we just won’t have an autumn, we will go from summer one minute then into full-on winter the next – the anticipation of ‘that day’ is keeping me on my toes xx

    • You learn to deal with the cold and snow when you choose to live in Minnesota. I love that we have four distinct seasons. And this is home.

      We are set to record one of our snowiest and coldest Aprils ever. Sometimes we have snow into May. I hope not this year.

      I’d gladly accept some of your record heat.

  2. Jackie Says:

    Sorry to hear Izzy’s Party had to be postponed :/
    My daughter went ahead with our Audrey’s party today, but only the Rochester people came (minus the great grandparents). We only have about 3 inches here so far but the wind is whipping and there is more snow predicted for the overnight and into the afternoon tomorrow. It’s a crazy Spring for sure.

    • Oh, I’m glad Audrey’s party could go on as planned. But I understand why only the Rochester people could attend. Enjoy the snow and stay safe. When we went out to shovel at 6:30 p.m., Randy estimated we had gotten about six inches of snow. More has fallen since then.

  3. I hope it all melts soon for you. I know everyone in MN is really ready for Spring.

  4. Almost Iowa Says:

    You know a blizzard is going to be bad when MNDOT closes and locks the “blizzard gates” on the freeway entrances. There are gates in Owatonna but I can’t remember if Faribault has them.

    • And it’s a good thing those gates exist. I don’t know if Faribault has snow gates to the interstate.

      We’re missing our granddaughter’s second birthday party today as we don’t want to travel on icy and snow-packed I-35 in this weather into the north metro. Sigh. I’m a sad grandma. I never thought the Minnesota grandparents would miss the party. The California grandparents flew in on Thursday, so they will be there.

  5. Marilyn Donnell Says:

    I don’t remember the blizzard gates. How long have they been around? The chocolate should have helped more.

    • Snow gates have been around for years in Minnesota. I can’t say how many. The ones along I-35 in southeastern Minnesota start at Owatonna. I-90 across the southern border of Minnesota also has them as do some state highways like Highway 19 at Redwood Falls in my home area. That Highway was closed all the way from the South Dakota border to Fairfax, Minnesota, this weekend. I don’t know the distance, but well over 100 miles.

  6. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    Oh no too bad about the birthday party but at least she’s young enough that she won’t remember it.

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