Area digs out of season’s first snowstorm

The New Prague area dug out Monday, Dec. 10, from a weekend of snowfall as the first snowstorm of the season hit a wide swath of the state. New Prague had 8 and-a-half inches of snow while other parts of Minnesota received a foot.

Snow began falling in the area late at night on Saturday, Dec. 8. The snow continued off and on through Sunday, Dec. 9. The storm slowed down traffic Sunday and Monday. Following the snow was cold as temperatures just climbed into the double digits. The New Prague Wastewater Treatment Plant recorded a high of 18 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of 3 degrees below zero.

The weather was a far cry from last winter when above average temperatures resulted in little snow and a few cold days.

Residents and business owners dug out from the snow beginning on Sunday. The Minnesota Department of Transportation and New Prague city crews cleared streets December 9 and 10.

Police Chief Mark Vosejpka said there were four snowbird tickets given, but no vehicles were towed. According to city ordinance, vehicles have to be off the streets between 2 to 5 a.m. or when there is a forecast of two or more inches of snow. The ordinance is in effect from November 1 to April 1.

The cold and snow resulted in icy streets in some areas of the city. Chief Vosejpka said there were two minor crashes with no injuries on December 10. One was at 4:27 p.m. along Main Street near the intersection with First Ave NE. Michelle Fischer was west bound and applied the brakes on her vehicle. The auto slid and hit a lamp post on the north side of the street.

The lamp was destroyed and was removed by city maintenance crews. Fischer’s car had damage, but was able to be driven from the scene.

The second crash was at the intersection of Columbus Avenue N and Seventh Street at 6:24 p.m. A west bound vehicle was stopped at the intersection and was rear ended by a second vehicle. Combined damage for the two autos was estimated at more than $1,000.

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