It's only the first day of winter, and Minneapolis has already declared five snow emergencies.
That's the most the city has ever experienced so early in the season, says Minneapolis spokesman Casper Hill. We're also just one heavy dusting away from tying the winter-long record.
One person who probably isn't so thrilled about this whimsical little accomplishment: Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. Due to the inordinate amount of snow, the city of Minneapolis has surpassed its snow emergency budget by an estimated $3 million, says city spokesman Matt Laible.[jump]
"Public Works will continue doing the work necessary to clear our streets," says Laible in an e-mail. "We plow streets to keep them driveable and to provide for public safety through the winter."
The city will curb the cost using "contingency funds," says Laible. A new snow emergency budget will go into effect starting January 1, so if we can make it the next week and a half without another dumping, we should be out of the red.
Laible explains that the snow emergency budget is determined using the average number of emergencies each year.
"Because each winter is different, we know that some years we'll be under budget, and other years we'll be over," says Laible. "It's an uncertainty every City faces each winter, and we plan for it as best we can, knowing we may end up with more or less snow than average."
We surpassed average this year around the time the Metrodome collapsed.