Winter Storm Drops 13.5″ of Snowfall on Northwest Metro
The National Weather Service predicted a “historic storm” this week. After lagging in intensity initially, the storm picked up considerably early Thursday. The end result: 13.5 inches of snow had fallen on the northwest metro, as measured in New Hope.
Not only was snow a factor, but winds gusting up to 40 miles per hour.
“It was snowing as hard as I can remember it snowing here,” said Steve Reckers, a New Hope resident who has provided weather data to the National Weather Service for 56 years.
Reckers had stepped outside at 6 a.m. Thursday to observe the storm and the wind gusts.
“There’s a house down the block about a tenth of a mile away. You couldn’t see it,” he said.
According to Reckers’ weather measurements, the snow started falling Tuesday with 2.3 inches recorded, then another 4 inches fell on Wednesday. The system then really picked, dropping 7.2 inches overnight.
“I thought the thing was just going to bail out because it never snowed intensely,” he said. “I was a little surprised this morning.”
Measuring snow can get tricky with the wind, said Reckers, especially with light, fluffy variety that fell overnight.
“I take multiple measurements,” he said. “I get a little carried away probably.”
Emergency precautions for clearing snow
Cities such as Brooklyn Center enacted emergency plans before the storm to make sure first responders can arrive to neighborhoods. Protocols include letting snowplows lead the way if need be.
Local fire departments, meanwhile, are encouraging residents to shovel around hydrants. CenterPoint Energy is also urging residents to take extra care clearing snow and ice around gas meters. The natural gas and energy company is telling customers to make sure any outside vents and air intakes for their gas appliances are not blocked by snow or ice.
“A blockage can allow dangerous levels of carbon monoxide to accumulate indoors,” said Ross Corson, spokesperson for CenterPoint Energy, in a statement to CCX News. “Pay particular attention to side-wall vents and air intakes for furnaces, water heaters and clothes dryers that could be partially or fully blocked by drifting snow.”
CenterPoint Energy offers the following important tips to protect the natural gas meter serving your residence or business:
- Don’t pile snow on or near the natural gas meter. Keep a clear path to the meter to allow access in an emergency.
- Note the location of the meter. If the natural gas meter is near a sidewalk or driveway, make sure whoever removes snow from your property is aware of its location. Consider marking the location with a safety flag or pole.
- Use care when clearing snow on and around the meter. Carefully shovel around the meter and move snow away from it. Use a broom or brush to gently clear snow or ice from the top of the meter and piping.
- Never kick or hit the gas meter or its piping with a shovel, hammer or any hard object to break away built-up snow or ice.
- Remove large icicles hanging over a meter, pipe or appliance vents to prevent damage.
- If you suspect a natural gas leak, or the meter has been damaged, leave the area immediately on foot and tell others to do the same. When safely away, report it by calling 911 and CenterPoint Energy’s emergency hotline at 800-296-9815
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