Packing it in

Photo by Deb Gau The snow piles are stacking up at a site along Minnesota Highway 19, used by the city of Marshall to hold snow from this weekend’s storm. Cleanup continued Monday after around 11 inches fell on the city Sunday.

MARSHALL — It’s a lot of work cleaning up after an 11-inch snowfall. But the fact that there wasn’t a lot of snow already on the ground before Sunday’s winter storm was one positive thing for Marshall city snowplow crews.

Unlike last February, when there was so much snow piled up that Marshall had to declare a snow removal emergency, plow crews on Sunday had an easier time finding places to put the snow.

“Last year, we had so many (snowstorms) back to back, we didn’t have room,” said Marshall Public Works Director Jason Anderson. “This time, we felt like we were able to manage it better.”

Plow crews were at work most of the day Sunday until late afternoon or evening, Anderson said. He said the cleanup would continue Monday and today, with city crews pushing snow back from the street and removing snow from cul-de-sacs.

Anderson said it’s important for Marshall residents to remember that snow they remove from their sidewalks and driveways needs to stay on their own property. Residents should also make sure their sidewalks are cleared of snow.

Up to a foot of snow fell across parts of the region on Saturday night and Sunday. The National Weather Service said snowfall reports on Sunday morning ranged from around 9.9 inches in Minneota, to 11 inches in Marshall and 12 inches in Lynd.

The snow made travel difficult in town, and dangerous on area highways. On Sunday morning, a total of nine southwest Minnesota counties, from Lac qui Parle County in the north down to Pipestone County in the south, were under a no-travel advisory from the Minnesota Department of Transportation. At the time, MnDOT advised travelers that winds were creating whiteout conditions and heavy snow was filling in behind snowplows. The advisory was lifted by Sunday afternoon, but snowplows continued to work to clear roads.

On Monday, MnDOT travel information still reported blowing snow and icy conditions in much of the area.

The snow that fell Sunday was relatively light and fluffy, which made it easier to move although there was a lot of it, Anderson said. Another factor working in plow crews’ favor was that there was still room on city boulevards to store snow. Loads of snow were also being taken to holding areas. In Marshall, loads of snow are brought to locations off of Highway 19 near the Marshall golf course, and off of Highway 68 near the Redwood River diversion channel, Anderson said.

Anderson said there were some instances in Marshall of vehicles parked on the street being trapped by snow from passing plows this weekend.

He said the city also received some complaints of people blowing snow from their properties back out into the street.

With the recent snowy weather, Anderson said it’s a good time to remind people not to move snow into the public right of way, and to keep public sidewalks clear.