In an all-out 72-hour battle against the forces of nature, Lake County has emerged victorious -- back aches from hours of snow shoveling notwithstanding.
Lake County claimed the top 3 in the list of deepest snow falls in the area. As of 8 a.m. Thursday, 42 inches had fallen five miles north of Two Harbors, 35.3 inches fell 7 miles northwest of Two Harbors and Silver Bay had tallied 29.5 inches, according to National Weather Service statistics.
The snow resulted in three snow days for district students, a number of cancelled events and many treacherous roads. The Minnesota State Patrol reported 175 crashes statewide from Monday through Wednesday and nearly 120 vehicles that had run off the road.
The employees at Larson's Outdoor Equipment couldn't take a snow day and braved the roads to get to work throughout the storm. According to employee Donald Bredow, he, Shannon Larson and owner Keith Larson have been lucky to get a lunch break this week.
The store sells and services outdoor equipment, including snow blowers. Bredow said they sold out of snow blowers on Wednesday and customers have been stopping in and calling about repairs relentlessly since Tuesday.
"It's basically constant," he said. "The snow is that heavy and it's just working (the snow blowers) that hard."
The store closes at 4:30 p.m., but Bredow said he expected to be in the shop until at least 8 p.m. Thursday repairing snow blowers that customers had dropped off.
National and state news stations flocked to the area to cover the snowfall. Twin Cities TV stations Kare 11 and CBS Minnesota braved the three feet of snow in Two Harbors and the Weather Channel's Jim Cantore, famous for his love of extreme weather, reported from Canal Park. The snow let up over Wednesday night just in time for a cold snap.
All winter storm warnings for the Northland expired at 6 a.m. Thursday and a wind chill advisory was in expired this morning. The National Weather Service has issued hazardous weather outlook for the region, predicting cold weather through Wednesday with high temperatures in the single digits.