Iowans wondering where all the snow has been so far this winter, found out Friday.
The white stuff appeared in clusters with up to 9 inches of snowfall reported in parts of north-central Iowa.
Snow first arrived in Fort Dodge early Friday morning. After a small lull at the end of the morning, the second round took place in the afternoon. Steady snowfall and high winds set in into the evening.
Fortunately, no serious injuries were reported in the area during the day.
“The snow has been quite light but the weather is supposed to recover”, Webster County Sheriff Luke Fleener said in the afternoon. “So far we have been lucky. Most people are staying at home. »
Fleener reported that two trucks slid into the ditch as the roads began to deteriorate.
He hoped drivers would remain cautious throughout the evening, but was concerned about deteriorating conditions.
“When it’s dark, that’s when it gets more dangerous” said Fleener. “I encourage everyone to stay home. Once there, stay where they are.
Area schools were closed on Friday due to weather.
In Humboldt County, a few cars slid into ditches. There was a minor accident, the dispatch reported.
Iowa State Patrol District 7 Trooper Paul Gardner said he was thankful they didn’t get too excited.
“We had a few minor fender benders in the Fort Dodge area. We had one that skidded and crashed west of Fort Dodge on old Route 20. No one was hurt in that one,” he said. “We also had an accident on Highway 17 (Iowa) which the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office covered. Other than that, we’ve just had a few semis that have been in the ditch or in the wallet along I-35, but so far in the Fort Dodge area, we’ve been lucky not to have too much to do.
No major accidents were reported in Calhoun and Wright counties.
Brett Daniel, director of public works at Fort Dodge, asked his crews to maintain the emergency lanes.
“So far, so good,” he said in the afternoon. “We had this lull late this morning where we were able to catch up, but it looks like the forecast was right. I’m still expecting another 5-7 inches. We’ve been on plan and have trucks working on emergency snow routes and we’ll stay the course.
Webster County Engineer Jamie Johll said the weather was “Nothing we can’t handle. I have 38 highly trained maintenance staff and a supervisory board which provides me with sufficient funds for the equipment, materials and labor needed to provide top level service to the public.
Johll said the county has 31 tandem-axle plows. All are equipped with a front plow, a side plow and a rear spreader. In addition to plowing to keep the roads safe, they spread a mixture of washed sand and rock salt.
Maria Weydert of Fort Dodge was ready for the weather.
She used a broom to clean her daughter’s car downtown.
The broom turned out to be quite effective.
“I’m an Iowanese” she said.
Although she’s used to snow, Weydert said she’d rather be in Florida.
“Snow would have been nice around Christmas,” she said. “But we didn’t understand that.”
Statewide, the Iowa State Patrol covered 32 crashes from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. No deaths have been reported
In terms of snowfall, Bode had the highest reading at 9 inches at 5:50 p.m. Algona had 7 inches at 3:30 p.m. Numbers for Fort Dodge were not available at press time.
The wind started picking up in the evening with gusts of 39mph reported in Webster City.
Roger Vachalek, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Des Moines, said travel could be difficult this morning.
“The snow will be over but the winds will still be strong until about 7 a.m. and should improve after that,” he said. “It could be sloppy. I would advise people to drive carefully.
Vachalek said wind gusts over 20 mph are likely at Fort Dodge until 8 a.m.
“It should get better after that, but it might take the road crews a while to come out and clean things up a bit.”
The high for today is 14. The temperature will then drop to around -7 overnight.
Sunday will warm up into the low 30s.