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Minnesotans love their winter, but most of us are ready for it to end.
Meteorologists are saying you’d have to go back 40 years or more to find an April like we’ve experienced in Minnesota in 2013. The most comparable one, they are saying, may have been in 1965. Those who were around back then may recall the flooding in the Minnesota River Valley that shut down most bridges and set high water marks that still stand today. That high water mark can be seen on signs if you travel Highway 101 (then called Highway 169) between Shakopee and Carver County.
In April, school has been cancelled twice due to heavy snow and road conditions. New Prague’s Street Department has not been able to fix a couple of areas they had to dig up during the winter because of the wet weather conditions, but that’s OK, they’ve found other things to do, like plow snow on two occasions. One thing that has complicated plowing is that the city’s snow bird ordinance expired on April 1 and residents have been able to park their cars on side streets overnight. That has resulted in a few people having to dig their cars out in order to get to work in the morning.
Some area businesses are beginning to feel the sting of the late winter weather. Most obvious are the golf courses. Kurt Ruehling of New Prague Golf Club said last week he would be surprised if the course was open this week, and that the following week might be realistic. It could by May 1 before the first golfers can tee it up in New Prague. That’s 45 days later than a year ago, when the course opened on March 15.
Landscaping businesses and lawn services have also had to deal with delays, though some of them have been able to make up for it in part with the extra snow plowing jobs.
Schools are feeling the pinch as well, both in class days lost and in activities schedules. As of April 22 there have been 47 varsity events cancelled or postponed this spring alone. Some have been postponed and rescheduled two or three times. Of seven teams that compete outdoors, only two have seen competition, boys tennis and softball, and the softball game was moved indoors.
Compare that to just three postponed or cancelled events during the entire 2012-13 school year.
After rain and another bout of snow earlier this week, the weather is supposed to take a turn for the better. Highs are forecast in the 60s for several days in a row. Hopefully, this is the start of a warming trend. There are a lot of frustrated gardeners, golfers and others who are itching to get a start on their spring activities.