For residents that found themselves stuck, stranded and cold during last week's storm, there was no greater site or more heart warming feeling, than the arrival of someone coming to help. For a lot of citizens it wasn't a tow truck or law enforcement officer that was coming to the rescue, but rather neighbors or strangers that were simply being 'Minnesota Nice' on a not so nice Minnesota Day.
When John Scott, owner of Scott Family Farms of Sergeant was driving home Thursday night, he could not see the road in front him because of the blowing and drifting snow. His four-wheel-drive truck was rendered useless earlier in the day so he was using his tractor to get around. "I've never had it where I couldn't get through with my pick up before," he explained. "Thursday night I went in the ditch several times with the tractor." On his way home he came across two vehicles that were stuck and in the roadway and ditch, he pulled them out and got them on their way. Scott had to plow his own path with the bucket on his tractor, to get through several of the county and township roads on his way home.
By Friday morning the blowing snow had stopped, but in its wake it had left county and township roads impassible and a trail of vehicles that had succumbed to old man winter's wrath.
Scott had not been out of his house yet on Friday morning when his neighbor called asking if he had a snowmobile. "I asked her why," he said. "She needed to get to the nursing after failing to get their the night before in the blizzard and ended up in the ditch." Instead of snowmobile, Scott told her he would try to get there with his tractor. "So that's how the tractor taxi started," he said. "Then another neighbor gal needed a ride to Field Crest as well, they were very short handed at the nursing home so I thought it was my civic duty to at least try." He added that his mother worked at the nursing home for years. "I know first hand that the help is essential."
Just a few short miles into his trip, the snow blower that is attached to the back of his tractor was needed. "We got onto County Road 7, and encountered a drift that took me about thirty minutes to bust through with the blower." On the other side of that drift, the snowplow had made some progress, so the rest of the trip into Hayfield was a little easier. The rest of the day was spent plowing paths on roads so he could help stranded motorists pull out their vehicles that were stuck in ditches and roadways.
Just as the sun was setting Friday evening, Scott pulled out the final vehicle of the day. He was preparing to head home for the night when he looked down the road a little bit from where the vehicle was that he was preparing to pull out and just laughed to himself and shook his head. He had one more good deed left to do. "I drove up the road a little ways and asked the guy if he needed a pull."
At the end of the storm he had pulled out eight vehicles and cleared a lot of snow from the roadways. "The last one was just comical," he said. "A snowmobiler needed their sled pulled out of the ditch. It was so bad even the snowmobiles were getting stuck"
The farmer, tractor taxi and unexpected tow and plow service made it home safety Friday night, after he made sure neighbors and strangers made it home safety first. "It's just a part of helping of others," he said. "There's no reason to make a big deal of it."
For those he helped, it was a very big deal.
Even the rescuers needed a little
During the height of the storm dodge county deputy Daryl Clements was dispatched to help a motorist that was stuck in the middle of the road on county road 34. On his way to help, his vehicle became stuck in snow drifts. He couldn't get to the stranded motorists he was sent to help.
He needed help himself.
"When I started towards Clements to help there were drifts as high as the truck hood," Kasson police officer Jessie Kasel said. "Darryl had an all wheel drive SUV and still got stuck. There were no city, county or state plows available. But Swenke Company was willing to come and help with their grader. They plowed a path to him on County 34 so a tow truck could get Clements out and he could get the stranded motorist home safe."
Kasel considers himself and the rest of dodge county residents lucky to live here. "Everyone is willing to help one another and pitch in when they can, you just don't find that everywhere."
Boys just want to have fun... (with their trucks in the snow)
Friday morning Kevin and Keagan Lubahn and Jesse redding jumped in their trucks and set out to just help where they could. They knew the roads were bad and the snow was deep, but that didn't stop them.
They traveled the county as a trio, plowing township roads to get to friends and family that needed help. "We had three trucks, two of them had plows so we could bust through drifts and make it through roads that weren't plowed and the third truck would pull us out when got stuck," Redding said.
They got stuck a lot throughout the day, but they didn't let any snow drift stop them or come between them and those that needed a little help.
Together they helped and surprised a handful of residents that really weren't expecting help. "When they called and offered to help I told them no, there's no way they would get here," Scott rose said. "They laughed at me said oh well get there." Rose was in the same situation as many others in Dodge County; no electricity and completely snowed in.
He had lost power early Thursday evening and spent the night battling the blowing snow for as long as he could, but eventually the snow won.
"They plowed their way down the township road and cleared out my driveway," Rose explained. "They also brought a generator and heater which was a huge help." Rose's power had been restored a few moments before they arrived so the heater was a big help in thawing out the horse water feed and getting heat restored in the house.
Redding said the three of them had the equipment to help others so they did. "I've had others help me when I've been snowed in, now I have a plow so I can help others."
Kevin, Keagan and Jesse didn't set out on Friday to be anyone's hero and to them they really weren't doing anything that particularly special. "It's just what people do, we help others when we can, where we can," Redding said. "We had a lot of fun! It was a great snow day."
They made a lot of residents snow day, a little more enjoyable as well.