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TWO HARBORS, Minn. -- Minnesota's North Shore celebrates its beauty. On occasion it comes with a beast.

"Storm total amount exceeding three feet," blared the weather radio in Two Harbors. It might not have seemed possible, but for the fact more than two feet of snow was already on the ground Wednesday morning, with no sign of letting up.

"It is rare, even for here," conceded Lake County Sheriff Carey Johnson. "It gets to the point it's like where do you put it."

The heaviest snowfall was measured in a rural area a few miles inland from Two Harbors, where Lyle Shepersky was blowing out his driveway for a second time. "Well, I don't think we'll have to worry about our pipes freezing under the ground," he laughed. "Got to look at the bright side."

Twin Citians might complain about a three-foot snowfall, but for Dixie Bar & Grill it's an early Christmas gift.

"It's been a while since we've had this much snow in December," said owner Deanna Larson, who just cancelled plans to close on Sundays for the month of December, due to lack of snow.

Where some see difficult travel conditions, she sees three feet of snowmobiler bait. "Actually January, February, March, can be our largest months in business - if we have the right snow."

Larson now does, with an exclamation point.

For those who rely on winter tourism, this week's beast of a snowstorm is a beauty.

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