Updated: December 24, 2020 10:40 PM
Created: December 24, 2020 07:34 PM
For many, Christmas Eve 2020 began with blizzard clean-up after a storm ripped through the Northland Wednesday night.
The storm caused significant damage to Bentleyville and left a number of Northlanders snowed in across Duluth's Hillside.
To keep up with the snow, Mike Fox, Highway Maintenance Supervisor for St. Louis County, said that plows were out working to clear roughly 200 miles of roads even before the sun rose Wednesday.
“Guys got called in at 3:00am, started at 4:00am,” Fox said. “With the way that the winds blew and the temperatures, it was obviously a struggle for us.”
After working from morning into the night Christmas Eve, Fox said they hope to be in a better place on Christmas day.
“Some of the roads still have a little bit of ice on them, so we're going to coat those with a little bit of brine and sand to try and make that sand stick to the road so there's some grit and then be out in the morning checking roads just to see how some of these faired overnight and that will determine what we do for Christmas day,” Fox said.
This came as Northlanders worked to finalize holiday preparations of their own. Many—digging out their driveways and some shoveling the steps and sidewalks of their loved ones.
Anthony Travaglione, a student at UMD spent several hours outside shoveling.
“It's quite the job,” Travaglione said. “Its good cardio. You know, I don’t have to go to the gym and use the treadmill. I can just be outside.”
Scott Scheirbeck, a resident of Duluth shoveled snow at his home first and then made his way over to his mother’s house where he helped her out.
“We’re used to it up here, so actually, it’s good to see,” Scheirbeck said. “It’s the beginning of a good ski season and curling season and everything is beautiful out. It’s a winter wonderland.”
Fox said plows plan to run through the night Wednesday, as people run last minute errands and travel to Christmas destinations.
"I just want to remind drivers that when our drivers are out on a night—especially like last night where the visibility was minimal that they be patient and stay back and allow them to clear the roads so that they have a safer drive to and from work," Fox said.