Book authored by Edina resident William Hull.
As I was shopping at Target before the first big snowfall a couple of weeks ago, I heard an employee announce over his walkie-talkie: "We have no more snow shovels. I repeat, we have no more shovels." Another employee responded, "We have no more ice scrapers."
A collective groan rose up from disappointed shoppers, even though the first snow flake had yet to fall.
Minnesotans like to prepare. Although we don't always buy into the dire predictions of heavy snow - weather forecasters have been known to overstate - we stock up on food, put an emergency kit in the car, and (in these modern times) pick up a DVD or three for entertainment.
Weather forecasting has come a long way since the Armistice Day Blizzard that caught the state by surprise on a balmy fall day on Nov. 11, 1940. Sadly, 49 people died in the blizzard that day, as snow piled up to almost 17 inches and wind chill temperatures plummeted to below zero.
The stories told about that day are amazing. Our research library has the 1985 book written by Edina resident William Hull, "All Hell Broke Loose. Experiences of Young People During the Armistice Day 1940 Blizzard," with stories from 147 Minnesotans.
Mary Fenlason, who grew up in southwest Edina on Tingdale Avenue, wrote that her dad was one of those few prepared for a big storm. He came home early from work with coloring books, comic books and candles. When she got ready to go next door to share her new gifts with her best friend, her mother stopped her. "You cannot go out. You'll get lost."
"Of all the ridiculous things, I thought, it wasn't even dark yet and I had been going to her house for at least a year," Mary wrote in Hull's book.
People did get lost just feet away from their home. Frank Cardarelle, who lived in the same area, remembered going sliding with his brothers on their farm when the wind picked up and visibility worsened. They had to seek shelter in a chicken coop to warm up on their way to their house. His dad spent the night downtown because streetcars were stalled in the deep snow and many had jumped the tracks.
Read more tales of that day at Minnesota Public Radio or check out a short video done by the Minnesota History Center's Collection Department.
Help us expand our collection of big weather events that occurred in Edina. Today might be the perfect day to hunker down at home and dig out your photos of the 1991 Halloween blizzard, the 1987 flooding, the 1980s tornadoes, or just every day photos of enjoying the four seasons in Edina.
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