Holiday lights set for St. Paul event stranded in New York after snow deluge


Organizers of a popular festive event in St. Paul face a nervous wait to see if their supply of Christmas lights – currently stuck in snow-deluged New York – will make it to the Twin Cities on time.

The Holiday Lights in the Park event at Phalen Park has its opening this Tuesday, but two semi trucks full of display lights earmarked for the event are currently snowbound in upstate New York, the Pioneer Press reports.

New York has been hit with a snowstorm of epic proportions this past week, with NBC News reporting that snowfall levels exceeded more than 7 feet in some places.

It has led to multiple fatalities, caused building collapses, and led to vehicles being abandoned as towns and cities were swamped with snow.

Organizers of the Phalen event told the Pioneer Press the lights were due to arrive Friday but have been delayed at least 36 hours, though they are still confident the grand opening of the drive-through lights show should not be affected.

The lights event, organized by the St. Paul Police Foundation and the local chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association, is into its seventh year and is expected to feature more than 60 displays, according to its Facebook page.

It costs $10 per vehicle, with proceeds going towards the Union Gospel Mission, the police foundation and St. Paul Parks Conservancy.

Although they are currently stuck in a truck, this year's event, which will run until January 1, will feature new LED light displays.

New York state under snow

The Northeast United States has been hit by levels are snow that are hefty even by Minnesotan standards.

More than 6-foot of snow has been dumped in Buffalo alone as a result of the "lake effect" storm caused by cold Arctic air mixing with the warm waters of Lake Erie, with areas south of the city getting 7-foot, according to

CBS notes that the levels seen in New York already exceeds the snowfall levels seen in Chicago's worst three snowstorms on record – combined. Sixty to 72 inches fell in a matter of days.

The snowfall is expected to tail off over the weekend as temperatures rise, with rain forecast, but concern is now turning to flooding and roof collapses as the snow melts, NBC reports.

According to Minnesota weather records, the biggest amount of snow that fell during a single storm was 46.5 inches in January 1994.

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