Heavy work week for maintenance men
Jeff Yeo sat patiently inside his payloader, waiting for the truck to return from dumping snow. Yeo and the rest of the maintenance crew in Minneota had been working nearly around the clock to keep the Minneota Streets clean.
That includes Tim DeVlaeminck and Scott Holien. "They do a good job, and they've put in a lot of hours this winter," said Minneota resident Vince LeGare.
The city streets have been in good shape — despite the snow continuing to fall. The snow didn’t quit on Friday, starting and stopping most of the day. But warmer temperatures, near 40 did blow in, starting the snow to turn to slush and pushing cabin-fever residents outdoors to help clean up the mess.
It started on Wednesday, just when we thought spring was here. Then along came Old Man Winter. With a blast of his nostrils, he knocked out school for three days, Wednesday through Friday.
It was still snowing on Friday when Superintendent Dan Deitte called off school for the third straight day. They’d tried to get school going, but the conditions blocked off most area roads, causing impossible conditions for bus drivers. The total accumulation was about two feet.
The Minneota maintenance crew has been out steadily, keeping the Minneota roads open for public traffic. But the snow has been piling up so fast, it was almost impossible to keep up.
Roads and highways around Minneota were officially re-opened on Friday after being closed down on Thursday. However, the Minnesota Department of Transportation advised, “Cautious travel,” because there are still hazards on the roadways.
With the closing of schools for three days, the Minneota Athletic Department went on hold. Saturday’s scheduled track meet at Pipestone was called off and Friday’s Minneota baseball games at the Wabasso Tournament were wiped out.
Monday’s game at Prinsburg against Central Minnesota Christian was also cancelled.
Thursday’s girls’ softball games with Russell-Tyler-Ruthon at Minneota was also called off. They were also to play Tuesday at Renville Co. West. Business affected Minneota grocery man Brad Minnehan of Brad’s Market waited for the delivery of this week’s grocery goods from Super Valu.
“They won’t be here on time,” he said. Over a day later, the Super Valu truck arrived at Brad’s Market with a full load. The snow had made a difference for many towns people. It doesn’t matter how much snow the area receives or what the conditions are.
Brad Minnehan is dedicated to keeping his market open. “We haven’t closed one hour during all of this,” he said.
Many folks have been counting on the market for food supplies as they sit at home and wait out the storm.
“We’ll be here,” said Minnehan.
The snow finally quit falling about 10 a.m. on Friday (although it came back again later in the day). Immediately folks began to crawl out of their homes and dig out of the storm’s residue. Some dressed for the weather and took a walk.
Others wound up the snowblowers they thought they were finished with this year. One resident said, “I had that blower all put away for the year.”
Some dug out their cars, others took shovels to the snow. But the best sign was that this storm was not going to get Minneotans down.
Spring will have to start all over again. But the fact the ground was already warm from the earlier thaw, made most folks feel the new accumulation of snow won’t last long.