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Blizzard Forces Montevideo To Push Pause Button

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – While a blizzard warning continues, it's not just snow western Minnesotans have had to worry about during the April storm.

Andy Kathman knew winter was going to get its second wind, and he expected the snow and ice to shut down businesses in downtown Montevideo, about 130 miles west of the Twin Cities. What he didn't expect was to hear thunder.

"Kind of weird when it's snowing," Kathman said.

Since Wednesday morning, western Minnesota has seen rain, snow, sleet, wind, thunder and lightning – almost as if Mother Nature is confused about what season it is.

Flooding in Lagoon Park was just starting to go down, and Bob Lauritsen had just taken his plow off his truck.

"It's getting up early in the morning. You get an 8 to 10-inch snow and you're up early in the morning. And you can see, sometimes, it gets tough," Lauritsen said. "We're not going to change it, so we get up and take care of business."

Lauritsen cleared the parking lot at Luther Haven Nursing Home where some of the city's oldest residents live. Everyone seems to agree that while this April snowstorm is impressive, it's not the worst they've seen.

"On May 9, we had a storm. And even birds sitting in nests had their head sticking out of snow, said Junie Weckwerth," of Montevideo.

Art's Dairy Freeze was one of a number of businesses the closed its doors Thursday. The snow cones wouldn't have been a problem.

"Every time we open, within a month's time, we have a blizzard," said Patty Glomstad of Art's Dairy Freeze. "You are almost guaranteed. You can even ask Ron the previous owner. Guaranteed a blizzard."

Known for their burgers and ice cream, Art's is seasonal. They open in mid-March and close mid-September. And a new tradition appears to be starting. Last April they also had a blizzard.

"There were 22 inches of snow on them I was shoveling picnic tables. I've never shoveled those in my life," said Dave Glomstad of Art's Dairy Freeze.

On Thursday, they showed up just to turn on the furnace. But the good news is they will reopen on Friday, and there's no doubt the customers will be ready.

"Our motto is, 'It's never too cold for ice cream," Glomstad said.

Main Street in Montevideo wasn't unlike a lot of other main streets across the area. A lot of businesses closed for the day, but like Art's, a lot of them are planning to re-open Friday.

School was canceled Thursday, not just in Montevideo but for a lot of students in western Minnesota.


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