Community reflects on a 'snowstorm to remember'

By: Olga Michail Email
By: Olga Michail Email

Eau Claire city crews will be working through the weekend, clearing downtown and some residential streets into Saturday afternoon.

From whiteout driving conditions to a mass power outage, some people here in the Chippewa Valley call it a 'Snowstorm to Remember'.

“This is a wet sticky mess,” said Steve Thompson, Manager of Eau Claire Street Maintenance Department.

The city of Eau Claire says plows still have a busy weekend ahead, cleaning up the build-up of snow almost 2 feet high.

“The one thing that was a challenge, there was a lot of cable TV lines that fell down overnight,” explained Thompson.

Thursday evening the roof of the Kmart on Claremont Avenue caved in, causing evacuation.

“I can't remember in over 60 years something like this; it's just been terrible,” said Jon Stolp of Eau Claire.

Xcel Energy says several thousand are still without power after old man winter swapped down power lines and polls.

“If we do see a need, we try to reach out to the community,” said Carmen Peterson YMCA Membership Director.

Eau Claire YMCA opened its doors free of charge Friday, and several dozen took up the offer; to warm up, charge their phones and take a shower.

“I’ve seen stuff like this when I was a kid, but it's been awhile,” said John Gillingham of Altoona.

Because of a difficult morning commute area school told their students to stay home.

Some extra time Friday morning was much needed as Chippewa Valley slowly tried to break through the frozen snow.

“I’m 95 years old now, I've plowed a lot of snow and this is the hardest and toughest snow I've ever had to move,” said Eau Claire resident who was cleaning out his driveway Friday morning.

Neighbors helping neighbors; city crews working around the clock, cleaning up the aftermath....everyone hoping this is the last massive storm we see this winter.

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