Non-fatal accidents/record rain reported during 1st major snow event, Saturday


December 4th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The first major snowstorm of the season left motorists trying to remember their Winter driving skills. Here in the Atlantic area, the snow started falling late in the afternoon, but we only picked up three-tenths of an inch of snowfall. Heavier amounts were reported off to the north of Interstate 80 and points west and northwest, including Vail, in Crawford County, which had received 6.5-inches of snow by 6-p.m., Saturday. Late Saturday afternoon, a weather spotter in Carroll had reported 3.5-inches to 4-inches of snow on the ground.

The story in our immediate listening area, was the amount of rain. We picked up a total of 1.04-inches of precipitation from 7-a.m. Saturday through early this morning, including the melted snowfall. Other locations around the state reported record rainfall for December 3rd, including Ottumwa, which received 1.09-inches. The National Weather Service says Des Moines received 1.38-inches of precipitation, which broke the previous record of 0.92-inches in 1990. It was the wettest December day in Des Moines since 1994, and the fourth wettest December on record for that date, since records began in 1878.

Rain that fell during the day Saturday left roads in slippery condition, as the temperature slipped to 32 degrees and below by 8-p.m. Accidents were reported on Interstate 80 last night, but none resulted in any serious injuries.  Meteorologist Dave Eastlack with the National Weather Service in Valley, Neb., said a wintry mix quickly becoming snow Saturday morning in parts of eastern Nebraska and western Iowa. In all, about 3 to 6 inches of snow fell throughout the day, depending on where you were. The snow began to pile up, and so did the accident reports.

According to the Omaha World Herald, a wreck on Highway 92 in Pottawattamie County, near 270th Street, west of Treynor, led to another accident. While Sheriff’s Deputies responded to one accident scene, at another location, a passing vehicle struck a tow-truck driver who’d arrived to help with vehicle removals.  Sgt. Chris Weber with the Sheriff’s Office confirmed rescue personnel transported the tow-truck driver to Alegent Health Mercy Hospital. The man was conscious and breathing when transported. The incident occurred around 3 p.m. Weber didn’t have the man’s name or any further information.