Digging out in May - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Digging out in May


ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- After a snowy March and April, it only seems fitting that we carry it over into a record-breaking May.

Thursday's snowstorm has downed trees, sent cars into the ditch, left thousands across the area without power and residents are still digging out.

Things are starting to look normal in downtown Rochester--normal that is for maybe February.

However, power outages have been a huge issue in the area, at one point 10,000 people in Rochester were without power. As of Thursday night, Rochester Public Utilities says that number is down to 1,000, and crews from Austin and Elk River will be coming Friday to help restore power.

The heavy wet snow has caused problems both for power crews and those just digging out.

Armed with shovels, scrapers, snow blowers and a fire in the fireplace, as area residents dug out from the spring snowstorm, everyone seemed to have the same reaction.

"I've lived in Rochester for 22 years and this is the worst I've seen in my neighborhood," said Judy Savage.

"I've lived in Minnesota now since 1957 and I've seen, you know like everyone, a few May sprinkles, but has anybody alive seen a storm like this," said John Willaman, a Byron resident.

As far as we know, no one ever has, as May 2, 2013 is one for the record books.

There is one storm it seems everyone has to compare it to.

"I remember the storm of 1991, the ice storm, in October, and that was pretty nasty," said Duane Ellsworth, a Rochester resident who spent the whole day without power.

Thursdays's snow, which some compared to wet cement, downed branches and whole trees --taking out parked cars, dangerously weighing down power lines and wiping out electricity to entire neighborhoods.

It's even caused some damage that can only happen in Minnesota.

"I put the roof on my gazebo on Saturday," Ellsworth said. "It was such a nice day, and it totally 'Metrodomed,' collapsed downward. I've got a twist of metal now and fabric in my back yard."

But when you're pulling your snow blower out of storage, scraping the snow off your roof or huddling around your fire place, you have to laugh to a little, and look on the bright side. After all, this is Minnesota. We can take it.

"It will leave me with some sore shoulders but it's a good workout, better than putting on a spandex shoot and going down to a gym somewhere," Willaman said.

Maybe if we're lucky, May will be the season that comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.

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