1st major snowfall in Brainerd lakes area likely to melt by Tuesday

Almost half of a foot of snow fell in the Brainerd lakes area during the weekend. But warmer temperatures early next week should see most of the accumulation melt away.

A wild turkey trots along the side of College Drive as snow flies Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, in Brainerd. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

The Brainerd lakes area received its first major snowfall of the season this weekend, but the snow won’t stick around for much longer.

Four to 5 inches of snow fell across southern Crow Wing and Cass counties, according to Jonathan Wolfe, a lead meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Duluth.

“The snow we got was the first widespread snowfall we’ve had this fall,” Wolfe said Sunday, Nov. 14. “A couple of places up north did have — like Hibbing up to International Falls — did have 6 inches a couple of days ago, but it was kind of a localized effect up there.”

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The snow in the Brainerd lakes area, however, resulted in a crash with injuries at about 5:20 p.m. Saturday on Highway 210 near Crow Wing County Highway 59 by Riverton.


Isaiah Alfred Sorem, 17, of Deerwood, was westbound on the highway in a 1991 Chevrolet GMT 400 when it slid into a 1996 Ford F-250, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.

According to the crash report, a 2014 Ford F-550 tow truck was on the shoulder facing west loading the Ford F-250 when Sorem braked in an attempt to slow down.

Tow truck driver Cory Gregory Kyllingstad, 35, of Fort Ripley, and Ford F-250 owner Trevor Nelson Vian, 21, of Baxter, were outside their vehicles when they were hit by Sorem.

Sorem was not injured and was wearing a seat belt, but Kyllingstad and Vian were taken to Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in Crosby with non-life-threatening injuries.

The county sheriff’s office, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Crosby Fire Department assisted at the scene.

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“The one challenge for us was it came down with high moisture content in the snow, which made it stick to the roads,” Jory Danielson said Sunday.

Danielson is the maintenance supervisor for the Crow Wing County Highway Department. He is responsible for the snowplows that clear county highways and county roads of snow.


“We went out Friday morning. We had about 2 inches or so — a little bit more up in the northwest corner of the county — but we got all of our trucks out,” Danielson said. “That was the first time of the year that all of them were out.”

“The snow we got was the first widespread snowfall we’ve had this fall.”

— Jonathan Wolfe, meteorologist

County snowplows usually will not be dispatched for typical snow events until after a snowfall has ceased. They began snowplowing at about 1 a.m. Sunday.

“Our snowplows sometimes have a little bit of trouble get underneath that compaction (by traffic) to break it up, so we used a little bit of salt today,” Danielson said Sunday.

The county maintains over 640 miles of roadway and right of way and bridges. County highways and roads — and roads in the First and Second assessment districts — are maintained by the highway department.

“We still do have isolated slush spots that we're going to address, whatever doesn't continue to melt overnight,” Danielson said Sunday.

Wolfe said Sunday, “There's only a small chance of some snow, maybe a little bit of freezing drizzle tomorrow. But more likely is going to be snow than freezing drizzle. … Tuesday’s high will get up into the low 40s.”


There will be very little precipitation this week, and winds will become the bigger concern by Tuesday, according to Wolfe.

“And that probably will last all the way through Friday for some gustier west winds with gusts up to 30 miles per hour or 40,” Wolfe said. “Most of the snow should go away on Tuesday. There might be some spots here and there. But by and large, it won’t last until Wednesday.”

FRANK LEE may be reached at 218-855-5863 or at . Follow him on Twitter at .
I cover the community of Wadena, Minn., and write features stories for the Wadena Pioneer Journal. The weekly newspaper is owned by Forum Communications Co.
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