ST. PAUL - Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton issued Emergency Executive Order 12-12 Tuesday to provide assistance for motorists stranded in Renville County beginning Sunday, Dec. 9.
The order came In response to Renville County Sheriff Scott Hable requesting the assistance of the Minnesota National Guard to support recovery and sheltering of stranded motorists. Resources of local and county governments were inadequate to meet the demands generated by the winter conditions, according to the order.
The winter storm dumped more than 17 inches of snow in Sacred Heart and affected central and southwestern Minnesota with road closures and other public safety threats. The storm stranded people and vehicles in conditions that created imminent danger to persons and property, according to the order.
The action authorized the Adjutant General of Minnesota to pay the cost of subsistence, transportation, fuel, pay and allowances from the general fund of the State, effective immediately and remaining in effect until conclusion of the emergency.
Renville County Sheriff Scott Hable said the Minnesota Department of Transportation closed highways at Olivia, utilizing flashing lights on Sunday.
"At the peak of the storm, we had about 80 people in the armory in Olivia," Hable said. "Most people were travelers passing through. There were some people that got stuck on roads and went into ditches. The last people to leave the armory left at about 2 p.m. Monday."
Hable said Tuesday afternoon that county roads are still snow and ice packed.
"State and U.S. highways are improving but still have snow and ice," Hable said. "We need some nice, warm weather so we can scrape snow and ice off roads. They're in fair condition at best now."
(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org).