Winter storm knocks out power in Cottage Grove, closes schools
The winter storm that brought freezing rain, snow and then blowing snow to the area temporarily knocked out power to over 2,000 south Washington County homes, closed schools Friday, reduced visibility and left roadways slick.
Several inches of snow fell Thursday afternoon and evening and into Friday morning in the Cottage Grove area. Road conditions deteriorated and Cottage Grove police advised no unnecessary travel. Highways and main city roads were plowed by Friday morning but remained slick.
Cottage Grove police received at least 19 reports of accidents and vehicle stuck in ditches or snow banks between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. There also were multiple reports of fallen branches blocking roadways.
The National Weather Service reported 6.9 inches of snow in Hastings.
Xcel Energy reported more than 2,300 power outages in Cottage Grove late Thursday with another 115 outages in St. Paul Park. The power company said lines were down across the metro area due to freezing rain, heavy snow and high winds. By Friday morning, power was restored to most south Washington County homes.
South Washington County School Supt. Keith Jacobus cancelled classes Friday, citing poor road conditions and high winds. Schools and activities were closed, but all essential employees were asked to report. Other Twin Cities districts also closed or started late Friday.
It’s the sixth school closure for District 833 this year. School Board members said earlier this month that if there was a sixth closure, the district may use April 18 as a make-up day. The district said an announcement would be made about the make-up day.