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When it comes to clearing snow, some helpers seem heaven sent

"He is a lifesaver for us in the winter months," Kate DeShaw said.

Brent Blatchford_2.jpg
Brent Blatchford Friday, Jan. 14, helps move snow from his neighbors sidewalks and driveways in his south Fargo neighborhood.
Chris Flynn / The Forum
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FARGO — December was the third snowiest December on record in the Fargo-Moorhead area with about 25.1 inches of snow falling over the course of the month, according to the National Weather Service.

So far this January, about 4 to 5 inches of snow has fallen, which is a little under half of what the average is for November, the weather service said.

That's a lot of snow to be cleared from driveways and sidewalks.

Some neighborhoods are fortunate, however. They have a solution to winter's snow problem that to some residents can seem heaven sent.

"My neighbor is a snow angel for sure. His name is Brent Blatchford and he lives across the street," said Kate DeShaw, who lives in a south Fargo neighborhood with her husband, Jason, and their young daughter.

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The DeShaws, who arrived in the neighborhood about six years ago, are reminded of Blatchford's generous nature whenever it snows.

"He's out there right away and always clears snow from several neighbors' driveways and sidewalks," Kate DeShaw said.

She added that her family is in the process of selling their home and one of the things they will miss most about the neighborhood is Blatchford's kindness.

"We're moving for a job. Otherwise, we would stay here longer because we really love the neighborhood," Kate DeShaw said, adding that over the years they have thanked Blatchford with things like gifts during the holidays.

"He is a lifesaver for us in the winter months," she said.

As for Blatchford, he said there really is no reason to thank him.

Brent Blatchford_1.jpg
Brent Blatchford of south Fargo on Friday, Jan. 14.
Chris Flynn / The Forum

"I grew up in the era where I shoveled for my neighbors when I was a kid and I guess I just enjoy it," he said.

"To be honest," he added, "I'm out there blowing snow whenever I can, just because I can."

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Nancy Nessa, another south Fargo resident, said her neighborhood has a pair of snow angels named Patrick and Michelle Beyer.

"They are the most wonderful neighbors," Nessa said, adding that Patrick Beyer is always the first in the neighborhood to be out cleaning snow from his own driveway before making sure everyone else nearby is taken care of as well.

Nessa, who is in her 70s, said she is able to mow her own lawn, but she said Patrick Beyer will come over with a weed whacker to clear weeds and generally help keep her yard looking spiffy.

"I'm so grateful for these neighbors," she said.

Patrick Beyer said the feeling is mutual. And for him, pitching in is no big deal.

"A quick helping hand can make their day. And make things go better for somebody," he said, adding that he generally tries to refuse any kind of payment for his help, but sometimes people insist.

When that happens, he said he accepts the gift and uses it to buy treats for his kids.

Beyer said he's been helping others with snow removal and other things for most of the 20 or so years he's been in Fargo and he doesn't plan to change that habit anytime soon.

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Last winter, someone made a point of keeping snow cleared from the running track at Ellen Hopkins Elementary School in south Moorhead.

Pete Seljevold, who lives in the area, said the work of the unknown snow angel impressed him.

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Someone hand-shoveled snow during the winter of 2020-2021 from the running track at Ellen Hopkins Elementary School in Moorhead, formerly known as South Junior High School.
David Samson/The Forum

"I was awestruck to see someone had taken the time to hand shovel a running path one lane wide on the entire 400-meter track," he said, adding that the work allowed walkers, joggers and neighborhood school kids to get some exercise during the winter.

"Whoever did it shared a great gift for the entire neighborhood," said Seljevold, who added the angel appears to have flown this winter, as the track now remains snowbound.

"It doesn't appear anyone is clearing the track this year," he said.

Related Topics: WEATHERFARGOMOORHEAD
I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
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