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Winter weather makes for a White Christmas

But, storm knocks out power in local area

By Kevin Mertens - Staff Writer | Jan 4, 2021

Blue Earth’s Main Street has been covered in snow twice in the past two weeks. Once on Dec. 23 and again on Dec. 28. The area, which had remained snow-free for weeks, suddenly got a blizzard just in time for everyone to have a White Christmas.

The nicer than average weather Faribault County had been experiencing in the month of December came to a screeching halt on Wednesday, Dec. 23, when blizzard conditions invaded southern Minnesota resulting in crashes, closed highways and multiple power outages in the region.

Parts of Interstate 90 were closed due to the white-out conditions caused by the blowing snow.

Strong winds and lower temperatures combined to bring double digit below zero windchill readings to the area which made repairs more difficult for electric companies.

There were over 1,000 customers without power in Mapleton, Good Thunder and Delavan at 8 p.m. according to Xcel Energy.

BENCO Electric Cooperative reported a large transmission outage affecting over 1,000 members outside of Mankato and in the Blue Earth region who had no power as of 5 p.m. on Dec. 23.

BENCO posted on their Facebook page all power had been restored by 11:30 p.m. on Dec. 24.

The company said their line technicians spent Monday, Dec. 28, cleaning up and making necessary repairs to power poles and lines located in the southern part of their service territory.

Technicians from Steele-Waseca Electric Cooperative, Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services and Brown County Rural Electrical Association provided mutual aid to help repair the damage caused by the storm.

The high winds made it difficult to get an accurate reading on the amount of snow area residents received but most estimates ranged from 4 to 8 inches of snow fell during the storm.

Another winter system came through the area on Tuesday, Dec. 29. Although this storm lacked the high winds associated with the previous storm, the falling snow still led to less than ideal traveling conditions with many area roads becoming slippery due to the ice and snow sticking to the driving surfaces.