Snowstorm dumps 15 inches in southeastern MN

6:18 PM, May 2, 2013   |    comments
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  • Photo by Chris W. from Ellsworth, Wis.
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  • Photo by Patty H. from Rice Lake, Wis.

MINNEAPOLIS - The calendar has flipped to May, but winter made a hard-hitting appearance in southeastern Minnesota where residents are digging out from well over a foot of snow.

The National Weather Service says the 15.5 inch total registered in Owatonna could be the heaviest May snowfall in Minnesota's recorded history. The previous high snow total was a foot near Leonard, in Clearwater County, Minn. on May 3, 1954. Tower, Minn. saw 10 inches on May 3, 1950.

The snow is nearly as heavy in parts of western Wisconsin, with Baldwin reporting 14.7 inches.

Students in a number of districts are enjoying yet another snow day Thursday, while utility crews are scrambling to restore power to more than 15,000 Xcel Energy customers. The heavy, wet spring snow has snapped tree branches, dropping them onto utility lines.

The National Weather Service is reporting 14 inches of snow in Ellsworth, Wis., 15.5 inches of snow at Owatonna, 13 inches in Red Wing, 13 inches in Albert Lea, 8½ inches at Brainerd and 14.7 inches in Baldwin, Wis.

Most of the Twin Cities metro remains dry but the eastern and southeastern suburbs did see some slushy accumulation ranging from just a little to as much as 3 to 4 inches. Hastings picked up 6 to 8 inches in spots.

Red Wing came in at 7.2 inches of snow.  Albert Lea received 10 inches of fresh, heavy, wet snow. That snow, like concrete plastered onto trees caused many down trees in southeast Minn. and western Wis. taking power lines with them.

Rochester, Faribault, Goodhue and Red Wing school districts are among those calling off classes due to the snowstorm.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation temporarily closed Interstate 35 north of Owatonna early Thursday because of downed power lines.  I-35 re-opened around 7 a.m.  Highway 52 southbound south of Cannon Falls was closed for a time because of a jackknifed semi.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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