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Iowa DOT ready for big snow storm

News, Weather

December 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Snow plow drivers will be busy over the next couple days with the first major winter storm of the season bearing down on Iowa. Annette Dunn is Winter Operations Manager with the Iowa Department of Transportation. “We have about 900 trucks available and although I don’t think we’ll need them for this winter storm, we do also have snow blowers,” Dunn said. “All of our salt sheds are full at this point statewide and we are ready to go.”

The forecast calls for heavy snow at times and near-blizzard condition across much of the state today into tomorrow. Dunn is advising motorists not to “crowd the plow” and simply slow down when they see any of the DOT’s bright orange vehicles. “Especially with this storm that we have coming, there’s probably going to be some visibility issues and there’s not a snow plow in the world that can help us with visibility issues,” Dunn said. “And you may approach a snow plow very quickly since they’ll be going only about 25 to 40 miles an hour.”

Snow plow operators didn’t log many hours last year thanks to one of the mildest winters in the state’s history. Dunn says DOT workers have still been busy. “We’re are actually out there dealing with frost and trying to prevent frost, so we are using material and staff time,” Dunn said. “The nice weather has allowed us to shift our resources over to some of the maintenance we need to do on roadway system.”

Dunn is reminding motorists, if they must travel in foul weather, to keep the gas tank nearly full, pack an emergency survival kit and carry a fully charged cell phone. Items in the winter survival kit in your vehicle should include booster cables, candles and matches, a flashlight with fresh batteries, extra blankets and warm clothes, nonperishable food items, a can for melting water, and a snow shovel. Motorists can check winter road conditions in Iowa at www.511ia.org or by calling 5-1-1.

(Radio Iowa)

Major snow storm expected to hit Nebraska, Iowa

News

December 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A major snow storm traveling through the Midwest is expected to create whiteout conditions in parts of Nebraska and Iowa. The National Weather Service says snow will begin Wednesday morning in western Nebraska before spreading eastward into Iowa. Parts of southeast Nebraska could get between 4 and 8 inches of snow between the afternoon and night. The storm will affect most of Iowa, with snowfall expected from Wednesday afternoon to Thursday afternoon. Between 6 and 12 inches of snow is expected in an area stretching from west central to northeast Iowa. Sustained winds in Iowa are predicted to reach between 25 to 30 mph with gusts reaching up to 45 mph. Sustained winds in Nebraska could reach between 20 and 30 mph with gusts of up to 40 mph.

A Blizzard Warning will be in effect for Cass, Adair, Adams, Audubon, Guthrie, Carroll, Madison, Taylor, Union and Ringgold Counties from 6-p.m. Wednesday (Today) until Noon on Thursday. A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect from 3-p.m. today until 6-a.m. Thursday, for Monona, Harrison, Shelby, Pottawattamie, Mills, Montgomery, Fremont and Page Counties.

BULLETIN! BLIZZARD WARNING ISSUED FOR CASS & OTHER COUNTIES….

News, Weather

December 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

CARROLL-AUDUBON-GUTHRIE-DALLAS-CASS- ADAIR-MADISON-ADAMS-UNION-TAYLOR & RINGGOLD COUNTIES….358 AM CST WED DEC 19 2012
BLIZZARD WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO NOON CST THURSDAY……WINTER STORM WARNING IS CANCELLED…
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN DES MOINES HAS ISSUED A BLIZZARD WARNING…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO NOON CST THURSDAY. THE WINTER STORM WARNING HAS BEEN CANCELLED.

PRECIPITATION WILL OVERSPREAD WESTERN IOWA LATE THIS AFTERNOON. SNOW IS EXPECTED ALONG AND NORTH OF AN ATLANTIC THROUGH JEFFERSON LINE. RAIN IS EXPECTED IN SOUTHERN IOWA SOUTH OF A BEDFORD TO OSCEOLA LINE. IN BETWEEN…A RAIN AND SNOW MIX IS EXPECTED. THIS PRECIPITATION WILL CHANGE TO ALL SNOW THIS EVENING BEFORE ENDING THURSDAY MORNING.

6 TO 10 INCHES OF SNOW ARE FORECAST BY THURSDAY MORNING. THE HEAVIEST SNOW AXIS WILL BE ALONG A LINE FROM ATLANTIC TO ADEL. THE LOWEST AMOUNTS ARE EXPECTED NEAR THE MISSOURI BORDER. SNOW DRIFTS SEVERAL FEET DEEP WILL BE POSSIBLE GIVEN THE STRONG WINDS.

WINDS WILL BECOME VERY STRONG LATE TONIGHT FROM THE NORTH NORTHWEST. SUSTAINED WINDS OF 25 TO 35 MPH ARE EXPECTED WITH GUSTS OVER 45 MPH POSSIBLE. THE STRONGEST WINDS ARE EXPECTED A FROM MIDNIGHT THROUGH NOON THURSDAY. BLIZZARD CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED AT TIMES WITH VISIBILITY REDUCED BELOW ONE QUARTER OF A MILE.
VERY DANGEROUS CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO DEVELOP TONIGHT INTO THURSDAY MORNING. BE PREPARED FOR VERY DANGEROUS TRAVEL AND BLIZZARD CONDITIONS. IN RURAL AREAS ESPECIALLY…ONLY TRAVEL IF YOU MUST…OTHERWISE STAY SAFE AND STAY HOME.

MONONA-HARRISON-SHELBY-POTTAWATTAMIE-MILLS-MONTGOMERY-FREMONT & PAGE COUNTIES...339 AM CST WED DEC 19 2012
WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 3 PM THIS  AFTERNOON TO 6 AM CST THURSDAY...

LIGHT SNOW WILL SPREAD INTO THE AREA BY MID AFTERNOON…THEN BECOME MODERATE TO HEAVY BY LATE AFTERNOON INTO WEDNESDAY NIGHT. SNOW WILL BE DECREASING LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT BUT STRONG WINDS WILL CONTINUE INTO THURSDAY MORNING. SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 6 TO 9 INCHES ARE LIKELY. LOCALLY HEAVIER AMOUNTS WILL BE POSSIBLE.
NORTHEAST WINDS WILL INCREASE TO 15 TO 25 MPH BY MID TO LATE AFTERNOON. NORTH WINDS OF 20 TO 30 MPH AND GUSTS TO 40 MPH ARE EXPECTED WEDNESDAY NIGHT INTO THURSDAY MORNING. WINDS WILL SLOWLY DECREASE LATER THURSDAY MORNING.

THE COMBINATION OF HEAVY SNOW AND STRONG WINDS WILL CREATE CONSIDERABLE BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW. THIS WILL CAUSE LOW VISIBILITIES FROM LATE WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH WEDNESDAY NIGHT. WHITE-OUT CONDITIONS WILL BE POSSIBLE IN SOME LOCATIONS.

Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., Dec. 19th 2012

News

December 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Harkin Institute of Public Policy at Iowa State University has received a $500,000 gift from a South Korean businessman and his Iowa metals subsidiary. Sen. Tom Harkin is pushing for a one-dollar coin that would bring the company business. The donations to the Harkin Institute of Public Policy at Iowa State University come from PMX Industries and CEO of its Seoul-based parent, Jin Roy Ryu.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — A judge is refusing to allow the mother of one of two slain Iowa girls out of a halfway house so she can plan her daughter’s funeral. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports) U.S. District Judge Linda Reade declined Monday to end Misty Morrissey’s supervised release 45 days early or allow her to live with her mother. Morrissey is mother of Lyric Cook, who disappeared with cousin Elizabeth Collins in Evansdale in July. The bodies of the girls were found this month by hunters.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa couple who won a $202 million Powerball jackpot in September is donating $3 million to their son’s high school for a new football stadium — but the gift comes with a catch. The stadium visitor’s locker room must be painted pink. The Bondurant-Farrar school district accepted the donation from Brian and Mary Lohse on Monday. The couple requested only that the new stadium be completed before the fall 2014 football season — their oldest son’s senior year — and that the visiting team’s locker room be painted pink.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — The mayor of Sioux City says he won’t vote on any gambling-related issues as the city considers a new casino. The Sioux City Journal says Mayor Bob Scott announced his decision Monday during a City Council meeting. He says it is in response to speculation that he has a financial stake in the development of a new casino. He would not elaborate. Three developers have proposed land-based casinos that will eventually replace Argosy. The Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission will name the winning proposal in April.

Winter Storm Warning: 6-10+ inches of snow expected across much of Iowa by Thursday

News

December 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The National Weather Service, Tuesday, upgraded the Winter Storm Watch for much of Iowa to a Winter Storm Warning. Meteorologist Jeff Johnson says it may be the biggest single snow storm to hit the state since December 2009. The snow is expected to arrive in western Iowa tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon, with heavy snow falling across Iowa by the evening hours. “And then, as the event unfolds and we get into Thursday morning, the winds will pick up out of the north. On Thursday morning, around sunrise, we should have sustained winds of 30 miles per hour with gusts into the lower 40s along with some continuing falling snow,” Johnson says. “That will cause near-blizzard conditions, especially in the open areas.”

If there are stronger winds, Johnson says a Blizzard Warning could be issued. A small section of northwest Iowa could miss out on the storm, while north-central Iowa may only receive a few inches of snow. But, the high winds could still cause problems. The snow is expected to exit the state, along with the strong winds, sometime Thursday afternoon. Snow accumulations of 6 to 10 inches or higher are possible through southwest, central and northeast Iowa. Cold conditions will accompany the storm with highs in the 20s Thursday and Friday and low temperatures Friday morning in the single digits and teens.

(Radio Iowa)  National Weather Service http://www.crh.noaa.gov/dmx/

Winter Storm Watch no longer in effect for far west/sw IA: It’s a Winter Storm Warning

News, Weather

December 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

THE ENTIRE KJAN LISTENING AREA IS UNDER A WINTER STORM WARNING WEDNESDAY AND PARTS OF THURSDAY. THE WARNING WILL BE IN EFFECT IN THE FAR WEST AND SOUTHWEST COUNTIES (INCLUDING MONONA, HARRISON, SHELBY, POTTAWATTAMIE, MILLS, MONTGOMERY, FREMONT AND PAGE) FROM 3-PM WED. TO 6-AM THURSDAY. THIS REPLACES THE WINTER STORM WATCH WHICH HAD BEEN IN EFFECT. THE WARNING IS ALSO IN EFFECT FROM 4-PM WEDNESDAY UNTIL NOON THURSDAY, FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE AREA.

LIGHT SNOW WILL SPREAD ACROSS THE REGION DURING THE AFTERNOON HOURS WEDNESDAY, THEN TURN HEAVY BY LATE AFTERNOON OR EARLY EVENING. PERIODS OF HEAVY SNOW SHOULD CONTINUE THROUGH MIDNIGHT BEFORE BEFORE DECREASING.

SNOW ACCUMULATIONS…5 TO 8 INCHES ARE LIKELY.

WINDS…NORTHEAST WINDS WILL INCREASE TO 20 TO 30 MPH BY LATE AFTERNOON WITH NORTH WINDS OF 25 TO 35 MPH AND GUSTS TO 40 MPH EXPECTED INTO EARLY THURSDAY MORNING.

IMPACTS...THE COMBINATION OF HEAVY SNOW AND STRONG WINDS WILL CREATE CONSIDERABLE BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW AND POOR VISIBILITIES FROM LATE WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON INTO THURSDAY MORNING. WHITE-OUT CONDITIONS WILL BE POSSIBLE IN SOME LOCATIONS.

WINTER STORM WARNING ISSUED FOR SOME AREA COUNTIES WEDNESDAY

News, Weather

December 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

SAC-CALHOUN-WEBSTER-CRAWFORD-CARROLL-GREENE-BOONE-AUDUBON-GUTHRIE- DALLAS-CASS-ADAIR-MADISON-ADAMS-UNION-TAYLOR-RINGGOLD-

324 PM CST TUE DEC 18 2012 .

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN DES MOINES HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 4 PM WEDNESDAY TO NOON CST THURSDAY. THE WINTER STORM WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT FOR THE COUNTIES MENTIONED ABOVE. A WINTER STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR COUNTIES IN FAR WEST AND SOUTHWEST IOWA FROM WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH LATE WED. NIGHT.

TIMING…PRECIPITATION WILL OVERSPREAD CENTRAL IOWA LATE WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON. SNOW IS EXPECTED ALONG AND NORTH OF AN ATLANTIC THROUGH JEFFERSON LINE. RAIN IS EXPECTED IN SOUTHERN IOWA SOUTH OF A BEDFORD TO OSCEOLA LINE. IN BETWEEN…A RAIN AND SNOW MIX IS EXPECTED. THIS PRECIPITATION WILL CHANGE TO ALL SNOW LATE WEDNESDAY EVENING BEFORE ENDING ON THURSDAY MORNING.

STORM TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATION…6 TO 10 INCHES OF SNOW IS EXPECTED BY THURSDAY MORNING. THE HEAVIEST SNOW AXIS WILL BE ALONG A LINE FROM ATLANTIC TO ADEL. THE LOWEST AMOUNTS ARE EXPECTED NEAR THE MISSOURI BORDER. SNOW DRIFTS SEVERAL FEET DEEP WILL BE POSSIBLE GIVEN THE STRONG WINDS.

WINDS/VISIBILITY…WINDS WILL BECOME VERY STRONG WEDNESDAY NIGHT FROM THE NORTH NORTHWEST. SUSTAINED WINDS OF 25 TO 35 MPH ARE EXPECTED WITH GUSTS OVER 45 MPH POSSIBLE. THE STRONGEST WINDS ARE EXPECTED A FEW HOURS PRIOR TO DAYBREAK THROUGH NOON THURSDAY. NEAR BLIZZARD CONDITIONS MAY OCCUR WITH VISIBILITIES REDUCED BELOW ONE QUARTER OF A MILE FROM TIME TO TIME.

IMPACTS...VERY DANGEROUS CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO DEVELOP ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT INTO THURSDAY MORNING. BE PREPARED FOR VERY DIFFICULT TRAVEL AND NEAR BLIZZARD CONDITIONS. THIS WARNING MAY NEED TO BE UPGRADED TO A BLIZZARD WARNING SHOULD FORECAST CONDITIONS WARRANT.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL…KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT… FOOD…AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.

“Soiree with the Swans” coming Jan. 5th to Atlantic

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Area residents are being invited to join the Cass County Conservation Department’s staff at the Schildberg Quarry in Atlantic, for the annual “Soiree with the Swans.” The event takes place Saturday, January 5th 2013.  CCCS staff will be giving ten-minute presentations regarding the Trumpeter Swans every half-hour beginning at 11:00 a.m. with the last one being presented at 2:00 p.m. There will also be time to view the swans through spotting scopes and witness random swan feeding sessions. Hot chocolate, cookies, grilled hotdogs, and other snacks will be provided free of charge with donations being accepted (for swan care).

The Schildberg Quarry is located on the northwest edge of Atlantic, on the north side of Highway 83. Officials say if the weather is bad that day, or, if the swans are not at the quarry, the program will be held at the Atlantic Public Library from 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m., with a light lunch available.

This event is being sponsored by the Cass County Conservation Board, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and the Atlantic Public Library.

SW Iowa native provides swim lessons for Omaha kids

News

December 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – The generosity of an Iowa native will mean swimming lessons for more than 2,000 Omaha-area kids. Omaha television station KETV reports that Charles Lakin of southwest Iowa helped organize and pay for the Charles E. Lakin Learn to Swim program.  Lakin says he made the donation after learning of the near-drowning of a child at a summer program in Omaha earlier this year.

All of the lessons are free. Lakin also provides a swimsuit and towel for those children in need. Omaha parent LaTia Miller says she would not be able to afford swimming lessons for her children and appreciates Lakin’s generosity.

The federal Centers for Disease Control reports an average of 10 U.S. deaths a day from drowning.

Iowa officials warn about vine used for wreathes

News

December 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Iowa officials are asking residents to avoid a certain vine when decorating holiday wreathes. The Council Bluffs Nonpareil reports the state Department of Natural Resources wants residents to avoid using the Oriental bittersweet vine. Officials say its viable seeds are capable of spreading the unwanted plant.

The woody vine that’s native to Asia has bright red berries along the length of the stem. The aggressive plant can either kill a tree or slow its growth by blocking light from the forest canopy.   Officials recommend using the American bittersweet vine that’s native to Iowa. It is similar in appearance to the Oriental, but its fruit is at the tip of the stem.