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Baby, it's cold outside!: Blizzard blows through Becker County, but residents seemed prepared

A small backyard shed in Lake Park blew over in Monday night's winter storm. (Photo submitted by Lorri Leininger-Christi)

Winter might just be in like a lion this year after all.

The weather made a total 180 last night, in true Minnesota fashion, going from temps in the mid-20's to below zero windchill in a matter of hours as a blizzard blew through Becker County.

School let out two hours early and activities were cancelled yesterday in anticipation for the unpredictable weather, and Police Chief Steve Todd says that may have made all the difference as far as accidents are concerned.

"It was pretty quiet," said Todd, commenting on the surprisingly low number of accidents that happened in the area last night.

He added that he noticed the weather got worse when he drove west on Highway 10 around 5 p.m., but he didn't see any cars in the ditch between Detroit Lakes a Hawley.

"Highway 10 was pretty icy. Speeds were reduced," he said.

Becker County Sheriff Todd Glander had much the same to say about the rest of the county as well.

"Nothing that I can say was storm related on my end," he said, adding that people were prepared for the weather thanks to the announcements that went out.

When a winter storm starts off with a couple inches of rain, like yesterday, ice builds up fairly easily, making for dangerous roadways, but drivers must have been prepared, having already experienced the season's first snowfall a few weeks ago.

The wind was also pretty strong, with gusts out of the northwest reaching their peak around 7 p.m. at 54 mph, according to the national weather service, but all that really did was blow around the three to six inches of snow the area saw.

The windchill dropped overnight, currently sitting around -10 degrees, and we're not out of the flurries yet with a northwest wind blowing around 22 mph and gusts up to 31 mph.

Though Glander added that people should still be using caution on the lakes, despite the recent temperature dip.

"With the recent warm weather up until today, we have to be mindful of the lakes and the ice. Make sure people are cautious when venturing out on lakes, and use discretion," he said. "The wind and the warm weather and the rain did not help the ice at all."

The wind is expected to keep up for most of the day, only easing up slightly as nighttime approaches and we hit a low around 9 degrees.

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