Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

A look at Minnesota’s latest winter storm April 2, 2023

Trees viewed from my backyard were layered in snow Saturday morning. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo April 2023)

SO… THAT MAJOR WINTER STORM predicted for this past Friday into Saturday transitioned into a blizzard here in southern Minnesota. Not that I witnessed the heavy snowfall of an inch or more per hour and the accompanying strong winds. I didn’t. I was sleeping. Snow didn’t begin here in Faribault until around 10 pm Friday and stopped before I awoke.

Saturday morning we arose to a winter wonderland. Truly, it was that beautiful with the landscape draped in a pristine white blanket. The landscape this late in the season is not pretty with dirt deposited atop snow remnants. New snow refreshes, covers the snirt.

Snow weighs my neighbor’s evergreens. We got about 5 inches of snow in Faribault in the most recent storm. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo April 2023)

As weary as I feel about this relentless winter season, now our third snowiest ever, I appreciated the beauty of Saturday’s snowfall. The trees, especially, were lovely with snow outlining bare branches of deciduous trees and bending boughs on coniferous trees.

Snow and blue sky contrast Saturday morning. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo April 2023)

White contrasting against a bold blue sky is particularly stunning.

I love how the frosty branches shadow on a neighbor’s house in the morning light. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo April 2023)

However, snow piling on utility lines, roofs, sidewalks and driveways caused problems. Here in Faribault, a house fire started when a snow-weighted electrical line broke lose, falling against aluminum siding, igniting a blaze. Thankfully the occupants were up, smelled the fire and escaped before firemen arrived.

In Browerville, the roof of the school gym collapsed under the weight of the heavy, wet snow. Such roof collapses occur occasionally, including in mid-March at a shopping mall in the port city of Duluth. Most memorable, perhaps, is the collapse of the roof on the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (then Minnesota’s professional sports stadium) in December 2010.

It’s as if Mother Nature played an April Fool’s joke on Minnesota, leaving a message by covering this stop sign with snow. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo April 2023)

For the average Minnesotan, though, the latest winter storm meant firing up the snowblower and pulling out the shovels to clear snow. That we’re all tired of this endless chore is evident in how some sidewalks went uncleared in Faribault, how even city crews did not clear all walkways like they usually do. I expect expenditures for snow removal have stretched or exceeded city budgets. Plus, this time of year, the sun, if accompanied by warm temps (“warm” being 40 degrees or above), result in Mother Nature removing snow via melting.

Faribo Frosty was not smiling on Sunday afternoon. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo April 2023)

Faribo Frosty, Faribault’s iconic landmark snowman crafted by the Hoisington family each winter, is beginning to show the effects of warmer weather. He’s slimming down. On a drive-by Sunday afternoon, I noticed his weight loss and his pipe fallen from his mouth.

But it was the lack of a smile on Frosty’s face that was most noticeable. He’s frowning now. I suppose if I was a snowman and recognized my days were numbered, I might feel the same. I can’t/won’t apologize to Frosty, though, for not sympathizing with his plight. I just want winter gone. Frosty will be back again some day. Just like winter will be back mid-week, when more snow is predicted for parts of Minnesota. Not here. I hope.

© Copyright 2023 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


16 Responses to “A look at Minnesota’s latest winter storm”

  1. beth Says:

    oh, no. I can totally understand your feelings about yet another snowstorm at this time of year. everyone is tired of it, including fairbo frosty, and I hopeful for milder days ahead for all of you very soon.

  2. I agree, all this snow can be beautiful. But will it ever stop? We’ve reached the 3rd snowiest winter here in the Twin Cities. But we’re totally fine with not trying for 1st. 🥺

  3. Here’s wishing you sunny, warm days, Soon! ❤

    • Thank you, Penny. I’m envious of your Texas warmth. Even given this long winter, I feel grateful that we haven’t had to deal with tornadoes. My heart hurts for those who have experienced such loss and devastation via a tornado.

  4. Valerie Says:

    We leave town on Wednesday…a couple days too late. 😉

  5. I am sure you are so over the cold white stuff! Stay Warm, Be Safe, Take Care 🙂

  6. Oh my, not even going to mention the tulips I saw in Amsterdam today, sorry…just did.😊 I am counting the days until my grand MN return and I sm guessing I will be shocked by some sort of weather event during my travel. Winter clothes ✅ Spring Clothes✅ Snow shovel ✅ snacks in case of who knows what✅✅✅✅
    Be proactive not reactive✅
    Hang in there Audrey Spring will finally arrive and Frosty’s sad face will totally disappear.😉

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