Mother Nature reminds us who’s boss

By: 
Chuck Kajer, The New Prague Times

Last weekend’s blizzard endangered some, inconvenienced many and proved once again that Mother Nature is not to be fooled with.

We had plenty of warning that bad weather conditions were on the way. Events were being cancelled already on Friday and many people altered their weekend plans to avoid having to drive.

In the New Prague area, we received only about three inches of snow, but the high winds blew that snow around and made for large drifts, making rural roads treacherous and, in places, impassable. Long after the snow stopped falling, roads were difficult to navigate because of the continuous drifting.

New Prague Area Schools made the decision - for the seventh time this school year - to cancel classes on Monday. Some in town questioned the decision, but it was an easy call for district officials to make… two of the people who help make the decision to cancel live in the country and couldn’t make it to town.

South and east of New Prague, things were far worse. Interstate 35 south of Owatonna and much if Interstate 90 in southern Minnesota closed Saturday night, leaving hundreds of motorists stranded. I-35 finally reopened with one lane late Monday, with the Minnesota Department of Transportation saying it may take the rest of the week before the road is fully reopened. As late as Tuesday morning, some roads in southeastern Minnesota remained closed due to drifting snow.

Some people are quick to criticize television and radio stations that they say overly dramatize the weather and send people into panic for nothing, dubbing them “Weather terrorists.” As we’ve seen this past weekend, there is often times a reason to worry about these forecasts.

Stay safe!

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