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Community News

Posted on: April 6, 2018

April Snow Sidelines Spring Routines

Visit Wintercrest Park during the first week of April and you should hear the crack of ball on bat and cheering fans in the stands.  But this April, sounds of spring are buried under nearly a foot of snow.

Wind-whipped ball fields and blowing snow sidelined any hope of spring sports outdoors. And it seems like everybody is talking about the weather.

“It's Midwest,” said Dan Larson as he scurried across a freezing Coon Rapids parking lot to get into a store, “Midwest as it comes!”

His wife Bev Larson just wanted to get inside.

“I'm ready for spring,” she said. “I'm ready for spring!”

Meanwhile, Dan Mensah was on the hunt for a replacement shovel.  Finding one on store shelves in April was no easy task.

“I have shoveled at least three times already this morning,” said Mensah, “It seems a little bit too much for April!”

The snow creates significant challenges for the city. Fire hydrant flushing in Coon Rapids is pushed back. Only the most essential pothole repairs are tackled in the cold, while the rest will have to wait. And ball fields, like those at Wintercrest Park, may not be ready for outdoor sports until May.

Tim Himmer with Coon Rapids Public Works said the large snowfall delays a wide range of services, from street sweeping to tree sales.

“Patience is a good thing,” said Himmer.

Himmer said park reconstruction projects, the start of seasonal employees, and some recreational leagues will all get late starts. He also cautioned drivers to avoid on-street parking during snowfalls.  While parking restrictions ended in Coon Rapids on April 1st, parked cars can significantly slow down plowing operations.

The late spring is felt at Bunker Hills Golf Course as well.  Director of Golf Operations, Tim Anderson said golfers had already played 2,500 rounds on the greens by this time last year.

“As a golfer, this is excruciating,” said Anderson.  “And we have people calling every day, ‘when are we going to be open, when are we going to be open.’ Just as a human being it's time for us to get outside!”

Staff at Bunker Hills are hopeful golf will move to the actual greens in about two weeks... Weather permitting, of course. In the meantime, the lack of business outside is driving golfers indoors. The four golf simulators at Bunker Hills are packed.

“The calls that we have received in the past week or two have been unbelievable,” said Anderson. “We could have sold 20 simulators out because everybody is ready to get out and play golf, and they'll take golf any way they can get it.”

Jennifer Anderson reporting

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