Southwestern Minnesota was wracked with a series of severe winter storms this week, leaving hundreds without power and many more stranded by impassable roads.
The snowfall started Monday afternoon, and continued without interruption through Tuesday. The region received several inches of snow, with some areas reporting nearly 12 inches in total. The storm also brought strong gusts of wind nearing 40 mph, making navigation all but impossible for most residents.
The foul weather prompted schools across the region to shut down, with most districts cancelling classes on both Monday and Tuesday. YME originally planned to open late on Tuesday, but ended up cancelling classes altogether as well.
In Clarkfield, the storm knocked out power for the entire city. The blackout lasted several hours before Excel Energy was able to restore power. In total, 6,800 Minnesotans were left without power, leaving power companies scrambling to restore energy.
Safety authorities advised residents to stay home during the storm. Nonetheless, hundreds of accidents were reported as a result of the inclement weather. In total, 260 crashes were reported, with 36 accidents resulting in injury. Over 400 cars spun out or went off the road Monday night alone, according to the State Patrol.
Thankfully, no fatalities were reported, and school and business operations returned to normal on Wednesday.