Storm wreaks havoc but now it’s back to businessThe Leap Year Blizzard knocked out a tooth, felled a flagpole and left hundreds of residents in the dark Wednesday. But by Thursday morning, it was back to business as usual in much of Douglas County.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
The Leap Year Blizzard knocked out a tooth, felled a flagpole and left hundreds of residents in the dark Wednesday. But by Thursday morning, it was back to business as usual in much of Douglas County.
High winds stripped aluminum siding off the front of Dr. B.E. Stein’s Family Dentist office at 1319 Tower Ave., Wednesday morning. It also downed the happy tooth sign that has marked his business for more than 20 years. But the dentist’s doors were open early Thursday. The damage was all external, staff said, and is expected to be fixed soon.
The flagpole at the Perkins Restaurant in Superior toppled due to high winds at about 1 p.m. Wednesday, according to hostess Jessamyn Musch. The flag that usually flies on the pole had been taken down prior to the incident. As it fell, the flagpole hit a tree, splitting it in half. No other damage was reported.
Power outages hit a number of areas in Superior, including Allouez, East End, Central Park and downtown, leaving hundreds without power. According to the Minnesota Power outage history chart online, more than 5,000 customers were affected by power outages at noon and 4 p.m. By 8 p.m., according to the chart, only about 500 customers were still without power.
The East End fire station lost power for most of the day, according to Battalion Chief Steve Edwards with the Superior Fire Department. They brought in space heaters to keep the building warm, he said, because the furnace is not connected to the backup power. Despite that, the temperature inside got down to about 50 degrees.
The Superior Fire Department made about 25 runs during the storm. The calls included a furnace fire on the 3500 block of Belknap Street, which came in at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday and a blown transformer at the corner of North 14th Street and Ogden Avenue that required firemen to snuff out a fire on the power pole. Power outages led to about six calls for firefighters to reset automatic alarms, Edwards said.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation closed East Second Street down from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday during the worst of the storm. The two-mile stretch that closed went from East 31st Avenue to Belknap Street. The only other closing in the northern region was in the city of Ashland, according to Chris Ouellette, communications manager for the DOT’s northwest region. Two miles of Lake Shore Drive between the merger of Highways 2 and 13 and Sanborn Avenue were shut down for the same period of time.
Traffic was quite light during the storm, Ouellette said, and no major accidents were reported.
Snow totals in Douglas County ranged from 7.5 inches in Poplar to 14 inches in Gordon, according online information from the National Weather Service in Duluth. Edwards urged residents digging out from the storm to use caution. The snow that did fall is heavy and wet, he said. In addition, cool temperatures are causing slippery, icy conditions that could lead to falls.
According to the National Weather Service, a low pressure system will affect the Northland through Saturday with the possibility of light amounts of snow.