Snow Storm (copy)

Tuesday’s snowfall brought flurries, crashes and outages.

Minnesotans experienced peak 2020 this week as an unusual year got stranger Tuesday with a record snowfall — in October. 

Snowflakes began to fall late morning Tuesday, Oct. 20 and continued on into the afternoon. 

The National Weather Service-Twin Cities bureau reported the Minneapolis-St. Paul area received 7.9 inches of snow accumulation Tuesday, breaking the previous 3-inch record established in 1916. Tuesday's storm was also the highest snowfall total this early in the snow season and the second highest daily snowfall total in October — the highest, of course, being the 8.2 inches the area received on Halloween in 1991. 

The National Weather Service-Chanhassen bureau reported 7.2 inches of snow Tuesday. 

Chaska before and after

A side-by-side image of Chaska City Square Park in the morning on Tuesday, Oct. 20 and then in the afternoon. 

As picturesque as the white blanket across the state may have been, it was accompanied by its usual side effects: power outages and traffic mayhem. While some residents shoveled their sidewalks and fired up their snowblowers, some dealt with a loss of power altogether due to down lines. 

SPUC power lines

A crew from Shakopee Public Uilities fixes damaged power lines on Tuesday, Oct. 20. Several hundred people experienced power outages due to the snow.

Shakopee Public Utilities, which provides electric services, reported an outage that affected several hundred people in the downtown Shakopee area Tuesday, according to a Facebook post. A tree branch with heavy snow damaged equipment on 8th Avenue, the post said. Power was restored to all within a couple hours.

The Minnesota State Patrol said between 11 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, there were 346 crashes across Minnesota, including 34 with injuries. 

The Scott County Sheriff's Office said it saw a "lot of cars in the ditch" Tuesday. 

"Even though it’s technically still fall, driving in winter-like weather is a skill that we don’t get to practice all year," the office posted to Facebook this week, with a reminder to heed the following safety tips:

  • Slow down.
  • Turn on headlights. 
  • Leave lots of space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. 
  • Give yourself extra time to get where you're going. 
  • Eliminate distractions. 
Cold ducks

A handful of ducks swim in a snow-surrounded pond at Krestwood Park in Burnsville. 

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz took to Twitter Tuesday to address the record snowfall and also encourage residents to slow down on the roads. 

"Take care of yourselves and your neighbors and Minnesotans are ready for winter," he said. 

Digital content coordinator

Rachel Minske is a regional editor and digital content coordinator at Southwest News Media. She's passionate about in-depth reporting and digital audiences. She's a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and enjoys exploring Minnesota.