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Winter storm possibly biggest to hit Iowa in three years

News, Weather

December 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The first major winter storm of the season left a wide range of snowfall totals across Iowa. Harry Hillaker is the State Climatologist. He says the heaviest snow, 13.8 inches, fell at the National Weather Service office in Johnston. Marshalltown reported 13 inches of snow, while the Des Moines Airport recorded 12.4 inches. Areas of northeast Iowa are also reporting high snowfall totals with 10 inches in Waterloo and up to 11 inches in Dubuque. Meanwhile, many areas of far northwest and southeast Iowa received just 1 to 3 inches snow. Hillaker says this blizzard may be the biggest winter storm to hit Iowa since December 8-9, 2009 — although that event was more widespread.

“A larger area of heavy snow occurred with that December 2009 storm,” Hillaker said. “We had a statewide average of 10.3 inches of snowfall. This current storm will probably end up being around 6 to 6.5 inches for a statewide average.” This storm, like the one in 2009, included high winds that helped knocked out power to tens-of-thousands of Iowans. The National Weather Service reported winds of 40 to 50 miles per hour across much of the state Thursday, with a 60 mile per hour wind gust recorded in Ottumwa. This blizzard could also be compared to a massive winter storm that blanketed Iowa in early January 1996 when nearly 14 inches of snow fell in Des Moines. Hillaker notes there was already a lot of snow on the ground when that storm hit.

“And it was a much colder storm. Temperatures were in the teens when the snow started, so it was a very dry, fluffy snow that drifted very badly compared with this current event as temperatures were near freezing and the snow was a bit stickier,” Hillaker said. The snow that’s on the ground across Iowa won’t be melting anytime soon as high temperatures are expected in the teens to low 30s over the next several days. The next chance for snow arrives early next week, including Christmas Day.
………..
Other snowfall totals for Thursday:

Atlantic: 7.0 inches

Audubon: 7 inches
Carroll: 6 inches
Clarinda: 2.5 inches
Creston: 5.5 inches
Denison: 8 inches

(Radio Iowa)

2 injured in Pott. Co. crash Thursday afternoon

News

December 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa State Patrol reports two Nebraska men were injured during an accident Thursday afternoon in Pottawattamie County. Officials say the driver of the 2007 Mistubishi truck, 26-year old Miles Pappan, and his passenger, 25-year old Frank King, Jr., both of Omaha, were transported by Underwood Rescue to Mercy Hospital following the crash, which happened on Interstate 80, at around 2:35-p.m.

The Patrol says the truck was traveling westbound about six-miles south of the Underwood exit, went it went out of control on the ice-covered road. The vehicle spun-out into the median and rolled onto its right side.

Midwest, Plains bankers see rural economy growing

News

December 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A new survey of rural bankers shows that rising commodity prices and lower energy costs are helping businesses in Midwestern states and the northern Plains. The Rural Mainstreet Index released Thursday climbed in December, the fourth straight month of growth. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey from Omaha, Nebraska says the reading is the healthiest recorded since June 2007. The survey showed increases in bank borrowing to purchase farmland and equipment, and rising farmland prices. The December hiring index rose half a point, to 53.5. The home-sales index slipped in December, to 61.3 from November’s 62.0.

The index ranges from 0 to 100, with 50 representing “growth neutral.” It’s based on a survey of rural bankers in the Dakotas, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota.

Iowa early News Headlines: Fri., Dec. 21st 2012

News

December 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Officials say some drivers have been stuck along parts of Interstate 80 for hours as progress to clear the roadway has slowed due to heavy snowfall. The Iowa State Patrol said last night that drivers in a 10-mile stretch between mile marker 187 and 197 were grid locked in both directions.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) —Republicans have nominated a candidate for a special election in a northeast Iowa state House district. A special nominating convention chose Dennis Litterer for the January 22nd special election in House District 52.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Police say a Council Bluffs man was shot in the chest while taking a car for a test drive. Twenty-five-year-old Charles Duncan told police he had stopped the car in a Council Bluffs parking lot Wednesday morning. Duncan says when he got out of the car to switch seats with his sister, someone in a black car with Nebraska license plates fired two shots at him. Duncan says he doesn’t know the assailants.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Senator Tom Harkin is refusing to say whether he played a role in securing donations for his namesake university institute from a South Korean businessman and his Iowa-based company. Harkin was asked yesterday on a conference call whether he was involved in obtaining $500,000 in contributions that PMX Industries and CEO Jin Roy Ryu gave to the Harkin Institute of Public Policy at Iowa State University. Harkin would not answer the question Thursday.

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY CONTINUES UNTIL 9-M THURSDAY

News, Weather

December 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

COUNTIES: SAC-CRAWFORD-CARROLL-AUDUBON-GUTHRIE-DALLAS-CASS-ADAIR- MADISON-ADAMS-UNION-TAYLOR-RINGGOLD-346 PM CST THU DEC 20 2012 …WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 PM CST THIS EVENING...

* SHORT TERM TRENDS...FRESH SNOWFALL WILL BE EASILY LOFTED BY STRONG AND GUSTY NORTHWEST WINDS. WINDS OF 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS AS HIGH AS 50 MPH WILL REDUCE VISIBILITIES TO BELOW ONE HALF MILE…ESPECIALLY IN RURAL AREAS.

* WINDS/VISIBILITY…STRONG NORTHWEST WINDS AT 25 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS TO NEAR 50 MPH. HOWEVER…WINDS WILL SLOWLY SUBSIDE THROUGH THE EVENING.

* IMPACTS…MANY ROADS REMAIN VERY DIFFICULT IF NOT IMPOSSIBLE TO NAVIGATE. VISIBILITIES IN OPEN AND RURAL AREAS WILL ALSO REMAIN QUITE LOW MAKING TRAVEL DIFFICULT. STRONG WINDS MAY ALSO CAUSE DAMAGE TO SNOW COVERED TREES AND POWER LINES.

2 accidents reported in Page County: Minor injuries

News

December 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Page County Sheriff’s Office Thursday, says only minor, possible injuries were reported following two separate, weather-related accidents which occurred Tuesday night. An accident that happened at around 7:20-p.m. Tuesday, occurred when a 1996 Ford Escort driven by 42-year old Frank Hill of Easley, SC, began to slide to south as it traveled on Highway 2 just west of Clarinda. Hill over corrected, causing the car to swerve on the slush-covered surface into the westbound lane, where it hit a 1997 Buick LeSabre, nearly head-on. Both vehicles sustained heavy damage during the collision. Hill, and the driver of the Buick, 16-year old Noah Bix, of Coin, were transported by Clarinda EMS to the Clarinda Hospital. Hill was subsequently cited for Failure to Maintain Control.

The second accident happened at around 9-p.m. Tuesday, about four-miles northwest of Clarinda. Officials say a 1997 Ford F-150 pickup driven by 24-year old Jack Donnelly, of Stanton, was traveling north on O Avenue just south of 170th Street, when the pickup went out of control. The vehicle left the road and crashed through a fence and into a field before traveling over a terrace and coming to rest. Donnelly was transported by Clarinda EMS to the Clarinda Hospital. His pickup sustained $5,000 damage. Damage to the fence, owned by Mike Barr, of Villisca, was estimated at $500. Donnelly was cited for Failure to Maintain Control.

Iowa DOT closes I-35 north of Ames

News

December 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation announced Thursday afternoon, the closure of Interstate 35 from U.S. 30 (Ames) to U.S.18 (Mason City/Clear Lake). The north- and southbound lanes in Iowa will be closed, as well as all entrance ramps to I-35. The closure is due to the hazardous travel conditions and number of crashes. Iowa’s interstate gate closure system is being activated and the I-35 mainline highway will be closed, as well as all entrance ramps to it between Ames and Mason City.

In Minnesota, the southbound I-35 closure will start at Albert Lea at the I-35/I-90 interchange. Northbound I-35 travelers will be required to exit at the Ames interchange and take U.S. 30 east- or westbound. U.S. 18 east- and westbound travelers intending to travel south on I-35 will need to seek shelter in Clear Lake or Mason City. Traveler services such as lodging, food and fuel are available in Albert Lea, Minn., and Ames, Mason City and Clear Lake, Iowa.

Persons who were planning to travel north on Interstate 35 from Interstate 80 and are still en route, may want to consider seeking shelter in Des Moines or Ankeny. The interstate is expected to remain closed until conditions improve, which is likely to occur Friday morning. The Iowa DOT will announce when the road reopens to travel.

Interstate 29 reopens at Iowa/Missouri state line

News

December 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation reports Interstate 29 southbound at Hamburg has reopened to traffic. I-29 had been closed earlier today (Thursday), by the Missouri State Highway Patrol and Missouri Department of Transportation from the I-29/I-229 (mile marker 56) junction in St. Joseph, Mo., to the Iowa state line.

IA Guard responds to winter storm: Approximately 80 personnel currently on duty around Iowa

News

December 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa National Guard has activated approximately 80 Soldiers from across the state in support of winter storm operations. As a result of adverse traveling conditions across the state of Iowa, the Soldiers have been assigned to 10 Highway Assistance Teams (HATs) on Interstates 35, 80, and 380 in support of the Iowa Department of Transportation and the Iowa Department of Public Safety.
Among the activated Soldiers, are those from the Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC) 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry from Council Bluffs, and Company B, 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry in Council Bluffs.

It is anticipated that these Soldiers will remain on State Active Duty through Dec. 21.

Winter Weather Advisory in effect until 4-p.m. Thursday

News, Weather

December 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

COUNTIES: CRAWFORD-CARROLL-AUDUBON-GUTHRIE-DALLAS-CASS-ADAIR-MADISON-ADAMS-UNION- TAYLOR-RINGGOLD-
1158 AM CST THU DEC 20 2012

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 PM CST THIS AFTERNOON...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN DES MOINES HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR LIGHT SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW…WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 PM CST THIS AFTERNOON.

LIGHT FALLING SNOW ALONG WITH SNOW BEING LOFTED BY WINDS OF 25 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS OF 45 MPH WILL REDUCE VISIBILITIES TO BELOW ONE HALF MILE…ESPECIALLY IN RURAL AREAS.

STRONG NORTHWEST WINDS AT 25 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS TO NEAR 50 MPH. HOWEVER…WINDS WILL SLOWLY SUBSIDE THROUGH THE AFTERNOON.

MANY ROADS REMAIN VERY DIFFICULT IF NOT IMPOSSIBLE TO NAVIGATE. VISIBILITIES IN OPEN AND RURAL AREAS WILL ALSO REMAIN QUITE LOW THROUGH THE AFTERNOON.  USE CAUTION WHEN TRAVELING…ESPECIALLY IN OPEN AREAS. TRAVEL HOWEVER IS STRONGLY DISCOURAGED THROUGH MIDNIGHT!