Woodbury digs out after winter blast
It was a snow-filled weekend in Woodbury after a winter storm accumulated well more than a foot of new snow around town. And the impact of the blizzard conditions was felt across the community as several activities were either postponed or canceled altogether.
The snowfall began late Friday evening and lasted through Saturday evening, said Tim Thurmes, assistant street supervisor. A total of 14.5 inches of the white stuff was measured by public works officials.
To clean up the meteorological mess the city deployed 17 dump trucks and 10 pickup trucks along with its fleet of snowplows to remove snow through the city's thoroughfares.
Thurmes said the snow removal went fairly smoothly.
"Our trucks are always ready for any kind of snowfall -- we're always ready for every storm," he said. "It's a matter of keeping with it and keeping ahead of the snow.
"I think we did a fantastic job on Saturday."
The biggest challenge to snow plow crews, Thurmes said, were cars that were either parked on the street or stuck in the snow.
"I had cars stuck everywhere, so I couldn't get my truck in," he said. "I skipped streets that were full of cars.
"We need everyone to keep the cars off the roads and keep the roads open so we can get through."
Residents across the community dug their way out of their driveways into Sunday evening.
Efemona and Dami Kosi were battling an embankment at the end of their driveway at their home on Winterberry Drive Sunday afternoon.
Efemona, an eighth grader at Crosswinds Middle School, said the family stayed home most of the weekend and wasn't able to make it to church Sunday morning because of all the snow that piled up at the end of the driveway.
Dami, a student at Century College, said the snowstorm wouldn't have been so bad, if it hadn't led to the Vikings game being canceled on Sunday.
"We've been stuck inside all weekend," he said. "I was looking forward to it."
Many events canceled
Even though the plows were out in full source on Saturday, several events throughout the city had to be canceled.
Everything from the city's annual "Breakfast with Santa" event to Woodbury High School's scheduled ACT test were canceled due to the wintry weather.
The test will be rescheduled, Woodbury High School officials informed parents and students via voice mail message.
Parks and Recreation staff was looking to reschedule a portion of the "Breakfast with Santa" event, said Julie Lehr, city communication coordinator.
"We're doing what we can do to recreate this event," Lehr said. "But, we live in Minnesota, what can we do?"
The snow also impacted athletic events and activities.
All District 833 high school sports teams had their activities canceled Saturday. And the dome field at the Bielenberg Sports Center had to be closed all day Sunday, as a precautionary measure, in the wake of the Metrodome's collapse in Minneapolis, Lehr said.
"The dome is in tact," she said. "It's just a lot of shoveling around entrances and exits."
The dome was planned to reopen Monday afternoon.
Lehr said the snowfall had no impact on the ice arena.
Other cancellations due to the snow storm included most Community Education activities and even a few music concerts.
Some churches canceled their holiday-themed events and saw lower attendance numbers at weekend services.
Woodbury Lutheran Church called off one of its "Wonderful News" holiday concerts on Saturday, but the Friday and Sunday concerts went on as planned, business administrator Mark Stutelberg said.
"It's disappointing because people look forward to the concert and people put in a lot of work," he said.
Additionally worship services and a women's event were canceled on Saturday.
Sunday's events saw 50 percent fewer numbers than anticipated, Stutelberg said.
"I think people just couldn't get out of their driveways," he said.
Over at Resurrection Lutheran Church, Sunday's events went on as normal and there were no events scheduled on Saturday, said Sarah Storvick, the director of children's and youth ministries.
"They were able to go ahead with everything, we didn't have to postpone anything," she said. "We were grateful to the plowers."
Not clear yet
Thurmes said plow truck operators were out again Monday clearing some of the "mainland roads" such as Bielenberg Drive, Tamarack Road and Lake Road.
"Eventually we're going to try and open them back up," he said.
Thurmes said the city roads should be completed by the end of this week, however the cul-de-sacs won't be clear until early next week because right now they are running out of room to put the snow.
"It's hard because there's so much snow out there," he said. "The equipment can only get so tight so it's going to take some time."
- Hank Long contributed to this report