April Blizzard Brings Shrugs & Shivers


by Charles Collier, The Denmark News

DENMARK — Parking lot snow banks towered above vehicles, bumpy and slippery rides accompanied already slow-moving traffic, and homeowners shoveling out their driveways and sidewalks were treated to vigorous upper body workouts. Everyone in Northeast Wisconsin was heavily taxed by Mother Nature’s cruel sleight-of-hand which in some areas dumped 30 inches of wet, heavy snow in a three-day storm.

The weekend before the IRS filing deadline is always stressful, though…right?

Snow of such proportion has not been seen in this area since 1888, when horsepower was calculated by headcount and telegraph lines stretched from city to city. At the time, the Village of Denmark would not be incorporated for another thirty-seven years—an assortment of Irish, German, Bohemian, Scandinavian and, of course, Danish settlers operated farms and sawmills here; trading furs with Native Americans was a very near memory, and the Civil War sat just 23 years in the rearview mirror.

That system, after picking up moisture and intensity over the Great Lakes, turned into the legendary N’oreaster that left New York City inoperable for days and claimed the lives of nearly 500 people on the East Coast.

Today’s meteorology technology and powerful machinery have insulated us from similar catastrophes and hardships. Regardless, last weekend’s blizzard stretched resources thin, choked any kind of travel, and left a wake of frustration and despair.

Travel Havoc

Throughout the storm’s intense three days, Brown County snow plows were challenged to keep up with torrential snow which transformed to slick ice when compacted by vehicle tires. These conditions were themselves compounded as some of the initial plow drivers who ventured into the wall of white became stuck in the very banks they were tasked to demolish.