An early-season storm dumped more than a foot of snow on northwestern Minnesota on Thursday, closing schools, limiting travel, canceling a homecoming parade and snuffing out the danger from wildfires that had destroyed 11 houses in Karlstad two days earlier.
"The snow is a problem of its own, but it's been a saving grace in Karlstad," said Kittson County Sheriff Kenny Hultgren.
It was a dark and quiet grace, however, as the storm knocked out power, leaving Karlstad residents facing the prospect of no electricity at least overnight. The town's nursing home, evacuated on Tuesday as fire approached, was still closed as crews cleaning up smoke damage were limited to a backup generator. It's not expected to be reopened until Monday.
By the time the snow tapered off late Thursday, residents near Badger, southwest of Roseau, were already confronted with more than a foot. At Greenbush, 8 inches of snow forced the closing of the field office of the Interagency Fire Center that had been monitoring wildfires across northwest Minnesota.