All the typical signs of spring are here. Robins, geese, pelicans, and even seagulls have returned along with other species of spring birds.

All the typical signs of spring are here. Robins, geese, pelicans, and even seagulls have returned along with other species of spring birds. Tulips and other greenery have been pushing up in local flower gardens. The days are getting longer. Local high school sports teams have all been practicing (inside) for quite some time.

After this past weekend’s blizzard, people are scratching their heads wondering when winter will finally lose its icy grip.

A whopping 20.5 inches of snow was reported in Montevideo as a late season blizzard took its time making its way across the upper midwest.

Snowfall totals across the area varied, as Canby reported 19 inches of snow and Granite Falls reported 17 inches. Areas to the north reported lesser amounts, as the Willmar area had 8 to 9 inches fall.

The storm began in earnest in South Dakota on Friday. Heavy snow closed highways and interstates throughout the state and caused many cancellations and postponements.

The snow gradually spread into Minnesota during the overnight hours of Friday into Saturday as the temperatures dropped and high winds picked up.

Heavy snow continued to fall throughout the day on Saturday, and blizzard warnings were posted for the area. No travel was advised for the area, as whiteout conditions  caused many roads to close.

The Minnesota State Patrol reported that there had been 558 crashes on state highways that resulted in 64 injuries and one fatality from 12:01 a.m. Friday through 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

The patrol also reported 1,058 vehicles that went off the road or spun out, along with 20 jackknifed semis.

By late Sunday afternoon, the storm system had slowly worked its way into eastern Minnesota and Wisconsin, as snow plows began the work of clearing city streets and highways. Crews put in long hours and by Sunday evening, most highways were in fair to good winter driving conditions.

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