Local News

Winter Storm Moves Out, Officials Thanking Public for Cooperation

After nearly two days of blizzard conditions, the winter storm system has finally moved out of eastern Iowa. 

Delaware County Emergency Management says wind gusts reached up to 60 miles per hour during the peak of the storm on Friday, leading to white-out conditions. Road crews had a difficult time keeping up with the drifting snow on Friday night, which led officials to shut down two major roads in Delaware County – Highway 38 and Highway 13, both from Highway 20 to Highway 3. DOT crews were back out on Saturday morning, with both highways re-opening a short time later. Delaware County crews wrapped up their snow removal operations by 5 pm Friday due to worsening conditions – but were back out on the county’s paved and gravel roads on Saturday morning. 

The City of Manchester implemented Snow Emergencies on Wednesday and Thursday night, with plows out working to clear drifting snow. “I would like to thank everyone who worked to keep everyone safe and kept the community moving,” says Manchester Police Chief Jim Hauschild. “I’d also like to thank everyone for their cooperation during this winter event.”

Plans were in place to open shelters in area communities in case of widespread power outages. Fortunately, it didn’t come to that. 

“Things could have been a lot worse for us,” says Delaware County Emergency Management Coordinator Mandy Bieber. “Thank you to everyone who stayed put. We appreciate everyone who changed their plans or closed their business to make sure people stayed safe.”

The National Weather Service says while winds will still be gusty at times, they will gradually weaken. Blowing snow may still be an issue in some areas throughout the day on Saturday, but impacts are expected to improve heading into Sunday. Wind chills will stick around through the weekend.

“The wind chills remain, so continue to bundle up”, Bieber says. “And Sunday night, there is more weather moving in, so be aware of that when making plans.”

Snow will be likely across the area Sunday evening into Monday morning. At this time, accumulations between one to three inches will be possible. 

Snowfall amounts for this past winter storm were less than predicted. Only around three inches of snow fell across Delaware County Wednesday night into Thursday, but officials say those smaller snowfalls actually cause the most accidents – and then combine that with strong winds and sub-zero temperatures that lead to drifting snow and black ice. 

The Iowa State Patrol answered 1,277 calls for service from motorists across the state during the storm. They assisted 933 motorists and covered 344 crashes, which involved 36 injured motorists. Trooper Jon Stickney of Manchester was among several local authorities asking people to hold off on traveling during the blizzard. 

I just want to say thank you to those KMCH listeners and all those residing in Delaware County for paying attention to our messaging on the storm,” says Trooper Jon Stickney of Manchester.  “It makes our jobs easier and keeps first responders safe. It also keeps all of you safe and sound. I would just like to say from the Stickney family & the Iowa State Patrol family, have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.”

Temperatures will be warming as we head into next week, with highs in the 40s. Another large system is expected to make its way into the area later next week into New Year’s Eve, with rain and snow forecasted.

 

photo courtesy of Iowa DOT

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