"What do you think will happen with the river?" "Is the river already seeping into the ballparks?" "Are we going to have a repeat of 2018?" I've been getting these questions almost daily over the past week. It's as if people are assuming that a 2019 flood is not a matter of "if," but "when." You can't blame people for being nervous. We entered this past fall with a high river and rainy fall. Tack on one of the snowiest January-February stretches on record and you certainly have some ingredients for a flood. However, a couple of the biggest factors have not yet played out - the spring melt and spring showers. So far, we have seen a steady pattern of midday temperatures well above freezing, followed by overnight freezing. The frozen street puddles we've seen lately are clear evidence of that. However, a quick glance at the forecast shows highs in the mid-40s to mid-50s through the weekend, with overnight lows ranging from 36 to 42. For some reason, it seems like Minnesota spring temperature forecasts often seem to be on the low side. Looking further into next week, I see high temperatures of 58 and 61 degrees forecast for March 27 and 28. Where does that leave us? Given the amount of snow that is still sitting on lawns, pastures, hillsides and farm fields, it certainly feels like the Des Moines River and Perkins Creek will eventually receive more water than their banks can handle. The only good news is that there is no rain in the current forecast. Shopko closure This week's page 1 story about Shopko's closure seemed inevitable to anyone who has been paying attention. Retailers like Shopko, Sears and Kmart have struggled to keep up with Wal-Mart and Amazon.com. As a community, we have been generally supportive of our local businesses. However, it appears that local support remains more critical than ever. Without question, our area retailers are far stronger local supporters than those in Mankato and Sioux Falls.
One of the tough things about a wintertime event is, well, winter. For the second time in 36 years, Saturday's Windom Farm & Home Show was snowed out. Chamber Director Anna Smith said organizers saw Thursday afternoon's decision as both frustrating and necessary. Wednesday, March 13, 2019