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Ten Inches On The Ground; Schools Open; Delays Expected On Metro Bus Routes

A parking ban still is in effect until streets are plowed curb to curb. Residents have complained about plowing in St. Louis Park.

Updated 6:40 a.m. Monday, Dec. 10: A weather spotter in St. Louis Park reported 10 inches of snow at 10 p.m. Sunday.

St. Louis Park schools and Benilde St. Margaret's are open and on time Monday morning, according to the latest information.

The city of St. Louis Park parking ban still is in effect. As a reminder:

The ban will remain in effect until streets are plowed curb to curb. 

Several residents complained Sunday on the SLP Facebook page about the lack of plowing. At about 11 p.m. Sunday, Rachel Sapiente Rickert wrote, "They did just go down emergency route residential streets with plows in the 10 hour."

At 6:34 a.m. Monday, Elizabeth Bradford Hanly wrote on the city's Facebook page, "Extremely disappointed that the streets remained unplowed yesterday. They are a real mess now and there is ice under all that snow that really could have used some chemical treatment. My husband had to plow our small side street so that he can get to a main road on his way to work. I used to brag about how SLP did such a great job plowing and how the streets, including our little one, was always plowed by the time I woke in the morning after a snowstorm. Not so much this time. :("

The Minnesota Department of Transportation reports travel on Highways 100, 7 and 169, and I-394 are "fair."

For up-to-the-minute commuting information, check the St. Louis Park Patch map.

A notice on the Metro Transit website reports:

At 7 a.m., there are 434 buses operating on 109 routes. About 62% of buses are on schedule; the average delay is 5 minutes. 

Light rail and Northstar are on schedule. We continue to clear snow from bus shelters, rail platforms and Park & Ride lots.

***

Updated 9:45 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9: Weather spotters around the St. Louis Park area have reported 7 to 10 inches of snow.

After the city posted a notice that plows were on main roads and "do not anticipate going into neighborhoods until after snow subsides" (see below), some residents expressed their displeasure on Facebook:

The first to write on the wall was Dedria Noll:

"This city used to be the best for plowing!! I can not believe you have not plowed the streets yet. Ridiculous!"

The City of St. Louis Park responded to Dedria soon after:

"We apologize that neighborhood streets have not yet been plowed. Crews worked since very early this morning keeping the main drags free of snow. Once the snowfall stops, the entire system will be cleared curb to curb."

Residents continued to post complaints on the city's Facebook page as the night went on:

  • Kristin Erdmann wrote, "Extremely disappointed that this city is not plowing streets until the snow is done. Close to, if not over, a foot of snow and if a person has to leave home they struggle just to get to main roads and some of them aren't plowed. Just because it snowed doesn't mean everyone put life on hold. Disappointed!"
  • Michelle Robb Tanner wrote, "... Totally wrong move. If we are luck to have the plows come overnight, people are going to have to undig themselves before work on a Monday morning. Or they aren't even going to come around until tomorrow and we are going to have a lot of stuck residents tomorrow morning."
  • Debby Schumacher wrote, "Waiting to plow is a terrible decision!! Residents are trapped. If there was at least one pass down the street people could plow out to it. The City dropped the ball-bad move by public works dept."
  • Omar Abdelfattah wrote, "Where do we park if we can't park on the street at all?"
  • Nancy Walter Ritzman wrote, "Say, SLP, why are the plows not out yet? Michelle, you have stated my exact worry - not being able to get out of the driveway in the morning. SLP, you make us move the cars, SO PLOW! So now we have to go out early morning and snow blow the bottoms of the driveways after the plows go through. gee, and then violate the noise policy too early. PLOW already!"

The city responded again at 9:52 p.m.:

We apologize for the inconvenience. Due to the continued snowfall, city staff made the decision to wait until it subsided to plow neighborhood streets. Those operations should begin within a couple of hours. Please feel free to direct questions, comments or complaints to 952-924-2562.

The National Weather Service says the current temperature is 29 degrees. Another 1 to 3 inches of snow are forecast overnight. The high temperature will drop to 5 Sunday night, and will only rise to 10 degrees Monday. Wind chills Monday will range from -1 to -7.

As for area roads, the Minnesota Department of Transportation reports that travel on Highway 100, Highway 7, Highway 169 and I-394 is "difficult."

WCCO reports the Minnesota State Patrol said there have been 597 crashes since Saturday night. Sixty-one of them involved injuries, including one fatal accident in Wacouta.

St. Louis Park schools and Benilde St. Margaret's are open and on time Monday morning, according to the latest information.

***

Updated 3:13 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9: The City of St. Louis Park has posted plowing information on its website. A notice at the top of the city's homepage says:

The parking ban IS IN EFFECT. The ban will remain in effect until streets are plowed curb to curb. Crews are currently plowing mains and do not anticipate going into neighborhoods until after snow subsides For more information visit:www.stlouispark.org/snow-plowing.html

***

Original post at 1:30 p.m. Sunday: A winter storm warning remains in effect until midnight Sunday, Dec. 9, for the City of St. Louis Park and much of Minnesota.

A total of anywhere from 9 to 15 inches is expected to fall on St. Louis Park by the time all is said and done, with the National Weather Service in Chanhassen forecasting snowfall to wrap up Sunday evening.

Travel is expected to be difficult, with winds increasing in the afternoon and evening. The storm has already caused many accidents and crashes throughout the West Metro.

"The heavy snow will taper off this evening with a few snow showers expected thereafter," the National Weather Service said in a winter storm warning. "The wind will then increase from the northwest with drifting snow lingering this evening."

Check out our previous post about SLP's parking rules.

Here is the full text of the warning, issued by the National Weather Service at 9:23 a.m. Sunday:

FORECAST SNOW AMOUNTS HAVE INCREASED AS MAJOR WINTER STORM CONTINUES.

BLIZZARD CONDITIONS EXPECTED ACROSS WESTERN MINNESOTA THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING.

A BLIZZARD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR MUCH OF WEST CENTRAL MINNESOTA THIS AFTERNOON DUE TO THE COMBINATION OF MODERATE TO HEAVY SNOWFALL AND STRONG NORTHWEST WINDS BETWEEN 20 AND 40 MPH. A WINTER STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT TODAY FOR EAST CENTRAL MINNESOTA AND WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN FOR HEAVY SNOWFALL. FAR SOUTHERN MINNESOTA REMAINS UNDER A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY TODAY FOR LIGHT TO MODERATE SNOWFALL.

A POWERFUL WINTER STORM WILL CONTINUE TO AFFECT MINNESOTA AND WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE DAY. SNOW WILL EXPAND THIS MORNING AND BECOME HEAVY AT TIMES TODAY. BEHIND THE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM...SUSTAINED NORTHWEST WINDS OF 20 TO 30 MPH ARE EXPECTED OVER WESTERN MINNESOTA THIS AFTERNOON BEFORE GRADUALLY TAPERING OFF THIS EVENING. SOME WIND GUSTS MAY EXCEED 40 MPH. CONSIDERABLE BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW WILL RESULT IN WHITEOUT CONDITIONS MAKING TRAVEL NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE BY THIS AFTERNOON. AREAS OF BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW ARE ALSO EXPECTED FARTHER EAST...BUT LIGHTER WINDS PRECLUDE THE ISSUANCE OF A BLIZZARD WARNING AT THIS TIME.

TEMPERATURES WILL PLUMMET BEHIND THE SYSTEM TO WELL BELOW ZERO LATE TONIGHT OVER WESTERN MINNESOTA WITH WIND CHILL READINGS AS LOW AS 20 TO 30 BELOW. TRAVEL IN THE BLIZZARD AND WINTER STORM WARNING AREAS IS NOT ADVISED. TRAVEL WILL BE VERY DIFFICULT AND STRANDED MOTORISTS RISK GETTING FROSTBITE OR HYPOTHERMIA DUE TO THE FRIGID WIND CHILL LATE THIS EVENING AND TONIGHT.

WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT CST TONIGHT...

* TIMING...SNOW...HEAVY AT TIMES...WILL DEVELOP TODAY. THE HEAVY SNOW WILL TAPER OFF THIS EVENING WITH A FEW SNOW SHOWERS EXPECTED THEREAFTER. THE WIND WILL THEN INCREASE FROM THE NORTHWEST WITH DRIFTING SNOW LINGERING THIS EVENING.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...8 TO 15 INCHES WITH THE HEAVIEST AMOUNTS IN MINNESOTA.

* OTHER IMPACTS...AREAS OF BLOWING SNOW WILL DEVELOP LATE THIS AFTERNOON OVER CENTRAL AND EASTERN MINNESOTA AS NORTHWEST WINDS INCREASE TO 15 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 30 MPH.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL...KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT...FOOD...AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.

Planning to take photos of the snowfall this weekend? Submit your shots to St. Louis Park Patch by adding them to our snow gallery.

See more coverage of the storm:

  • Share Your Snowy Photos on Patch
  • St. Louis Park Turns to Twitter to Talk Snow
  • Snow Causes Crashes in St. Louis Park
  • Parking Ban Notice: Move Vehicles Off Streets Tonight
  • Hennepin County Sheriff Issues Thin Ice Warning

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Dean Ritzman December 10, 2012 at 01:17 PM
After nearly a dozen automated notification calls to my home telephone and cell phone warning me about a winter storm warning and snow plowing; not one plow came to our neighborhood of 4100 Xenwood Avenue South in St. Louis Park on 12/09/2012 .
Merrie Knutson December 10, 2012 at 02:38 PM
It wasn't until 6:00 monday morning that the plows showed up at 3742 Dakota Avenue South in St Louis Park. They never do...we are always the last to be plowed!
Sara Lawrence December 10, 2012 at 03:11 PM
23rd and Sumter - north of Cedar Lake Road up to 23rd and Rhode Island have not been plowed once --as of 9am Monday morning. I wish the city and the school district would coordinate a little better. We actually had a city truck, with a blade on it, drive up our street at one point Sunday, but it never lowered the blade and we got no clearance. Very disappointed in SLP, who used to be sooo good at plowing.
DobermanLady December 10, 2012 at 04:36 PM
My husband works nights and called in that he was unable to make it to work last night. He did, however, stay up all nights waiting for the plows to come through, thinking that he could go in as soon as our road was plowed. He went to bed at 5:30 a.m. with the road still not having been plowed. Then awoke around 9:00 to find it plowed. BTW, I agree with Sara -- at one point last/Sunday evening we did see a city truck with a blade on it drive down the street but it never returned or lowered its blade. Weird! I've living in SLP since 1982 and this is the first time the snowplowing has disappointed me. I agree also with another post up above -- so if I had to drive to work this morning, how was I supposed to go out there and shovel the end of my driveway after the snow plows came through but before going to work? It would have been much better to have done them last/Sunday evening so people had a chance to shovel out their driveways before going to bed. Then, if/as necessary, they could have gone out again to do another go-round after most people had left for work. Why were we asked to NOT park on the street on Saturday night if they were going to wait until Monday morning to plow? Makes no sense to me!
Janet Weivoda December 10, 2012 at 04:47 PM
I respect SLPs decision to hold off on plowing until the snow subsided. We all complain about our taxes. This is a place the city decided to save us some cost. My street was plowed by early Monday morning. I'm sure there are some people who were inconvenienced by the lack of plows, but in the end it was a good fiscal decision.
mike savick December 10, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Plow drivers are human too. There are only so many hours they can legally drive safely without 8 hours of rest time The fact that they didn't leave plow furrrows on Pennsylvania Avenue and my driveway made it easier to get my wife's car free at 4:30 AM. Nurses services aren't optional. The plow came by at 8:30 AM ( so Dakota wash't the last ot be plowed) and the compacted wet snow and ice were tough to move. I have temporary lifting restrictions and a neighbor with time and a snowblower was an angel. Plowing cohtinuously also costs a lot. During the last legislature LGA was reduced or cut entirely. People and politicians kept saying "reduce government" Snow plowing is part of government! Stop whining. When I was younger I cleared out the street and the intersection in big snows.
David Dyer December 10, 2012 at 05:39 PM
I am really shocked at all these complaints. We got hit with a lot of snow and the city did its best to make sure our streets were clear and safe. Take a trip over to a city like St Paul after just 6 inches of snow and you can see how awful neighborhood streets can be. Thank you SLP and the plow drivers for the work you do.
mike savick December 10, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Thank you to the snow plow drivers and all or the othere emergency personnel that had to deal with the storm!
Jackie Amundson December 10, 2012 at 09:47 PM
I'm not complaining about the lack of plowing but the lack of enforcement on the snow emergency is ridiculous! We live on Ottawa and parking enforcement is always a problem. It's actually a major thoroughfare and it's very important to get our narrow street plowed curb to curb. I've lived on less busy streets in the city where this isn't as big of a deal but it is on our block. SLP should take a lesson from Robbinsdale...if they declare a snow emergency they WILL tow you. For 20 years I've been waiting to see my street plowed properly...and to see a car or two towed. I was actually hopeful this time as I got a recorded message reminding me not to park on the street. Once again, my hopes were dashed!! Please note I am not complaining about the snow plow drivers (they do the best they can) or when they plowed (it makes sense to wait until the snow slows or stops). I am complaining about a parking issue that needs some serious improvement!!
B.C. Knapp December 10, 2012 at 09:51 PM
I had my drive ready so I could make it to school in time this morning at 6:20. The street was not plowed, but I could at least get out my own driveway. 6:21 the plow came and deposited a 3 foot drift that took me an additional 20 minutes to clear. Then, after getting things into my car, knowing I would already be late for my students, the plow came again and deposited another 15 minute clear away. I arrived late to school when I had my planning all set with time to drive carefully to Osseo for school...... but SLP did not plan for their residents to get to classes anywhere on time. The snow had ended much earlier. Waiting until people needed to be out of their homes and on their way was far too late to be doing the first pass plowing.
Gretchen Peterson December 10, 2012 at 11:26 PM
We live on W. 14th between Texas & Pennsylvania - the ONLY through-fare between Wayzata Blvd and Cedar Lake Road. We saw NO evidence of plows Sunday, and it took until 8:35 this morning to get plowed out. This means our school buses were traveling on NON-PLOWED roads with all of our children on board. I was grateful my daughters' bus arrived, 17 minutes late, at 8:57. Wrong call, SLP officials. Your decision was, at the very least, unsafe and uncalled for during this large of a storm.
Gretchen Peterson December 10, 2012 at 11:28 PM
P.S. I AM signed up with the alert system, both cell and email... and got NOTHING. So, that also wasn't terribly helpful.
guy davidson December 11, 2012 at 12:02 AM
I had no problem whatsoever on Virginia Avenue - maybe they consider that a main drag but it was plowed the evening of the storm.
Kristin Erdmann December 11, 2012 at 01:52 AM
I do appreciate the individuals who plow the roads for us and I know this was not their decision. I also understand that this costs money, a lot if a heavy snowfall year. But, I find it interesting that a plow came down my residential road sometime after 11pm on Sunday and again around 6am Monday when I was clearing the end of my driveway. It appears that some poor decisions were made in regards to school opening on time but roads not passable within the city. The roads are STILL bad because people were out driving, regardless of the road being plowed & now you have to drive within ruts, get stuck & spin out. I sincerely hope if we get THIS much snow again and it happens to be during a weekday that the same decision is not made... I wonder if the day of the week had an impact on this decision. I feel for all of those individuals who missed work due to roads not being plowed. It doesn't appear that many businesses were closed. It seems that 'the big picture' needs to be considered, this includes the after effects of waiting, businesses open or closed, residents financial impact AND the financial costs incurred to the city.
Sjoberg December 11, 2012 at 12:33 PM
thank you hard working snow plow people. I forgive you for plowing me in and I know you have a tough cold job. The streets look great.
Heather G December 11, 2012 at 10:45 PM
I was lucky. Because I live in close proximity to Peter Hobart, 26th was cleared relatively early. Also, I had nowhere to go Sunday, so I didn't have to deal with the roads until Monday morning. When I did venture out Monday to go to work, the less traveled streets were difficult to navigate. I can't imagine how tough it was for the folks living on those streets.
Deb December 12, 2012 at 12:15 AM
I have never in my life seen such poorly plowed roads as the ones I travel on in St Louis Park. Did they even clear Cedar Lake Road?

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