Snowfall continues to blanket Albert Lea

Published 9:09 am Tuesday, March 5, 2013

By Sarah Stultz and Tim Engstrom

Classes were canceled today at Riverland Community College, at Glenville-Emmons School District and at New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva because of the late-winter snowstorm that struck the region.

Alden-Conger, Lake Mills and Northwood had a two-hour delay.

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United South Central began classes on time. Albert Lea Area Schools remain on spring break this week.

About 4 inches fell on Albert Lea in the latest round, adding to 3 inches that had fallen the night before, for a two-day storm total so far of about 7 inches. Another 2 to 4 inches were expected to fall today.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation on Monday advised residents to take precautions for driving safely during winter weather. Northerly winds could cause blowing and drifting of snow, making driving conditions treacherous. MnDOT’s 511 website advised of a car that spun out this morning on Interstate 90 between the Hayward exit and Interstate 35. Road conditions were listed as “difficult driving.”

A winter storm warning remains in effect for Albert Lea and much of Minnesota through 6 p.m. today, with as much as 10 inches of snow predicted by the end of the storm.

The National Weather Service stated 1 to 3 inches of snow were common throughout the state by Monday morning, along with blowing and drifting snow, with southeast winds at 15 to 25 mph.

Snow is expect to diminish this afternoon.

MnDOT encouraged drivers to check road conditions online before venturing out on the roads.

If people have to drive, the news release stated, they should be patient with snowplows on the road and stay back at least five car lengths from them.

They should stay alert for snowplows and slow down to a safe speed for the conditions.

People are encouraged to buckle their seat belts when traveling and to avoid unnecessary travel if road conditions are poor.

The forecast for later this week looks promising for melting some of this white stuff. Wednesday is expected to be sunny with a high of 24, according to the National Weather Service. However, Thursday has a expected high of 31, Friday 33, Saturday 33, Sunday 35 and Monday 38. There is also a chance of rain or snow forecast for Saturday, depending on what time of day the precipitation falls.