This storm had it all.
Rain, sleet, snow and even lightning and thunder were reported in the snowstorm that swept through Iowa last night and early this morning, dumping about 5 inches of fresh snow in Creston.
And, howling winds this morning reaching 30 mph with gusts near 50 mph stirred it all up, causing sizeable snow drifts on city and country roads. Those early morning conditions forced every school in the Creston News Advertiser area to cancel classes.
One of those schools was Southwestern Community College.
Tom Lesan, vice president at SWCC, was out at 4 a.m. checking the status of the roadways. SWCC called off classes shortly after 5 a.m.
“It was a pretty easy decision,” Lesan said. “We really wanted to have classes today because it’s finals week, but the roads are just not safe. They’re bad. I couldn’t even get off Birch Street without putting it in four-wheel drive. And, it’s worse in the country. I had to stop twice because it was complete whiteout conditions.”
Lesan said finals at Southwestern Community College will be held Friday on the same schedule.
Schools in the Creston News Advertiser area that canceled school included: East Union, Corning, Nodaway Valley, Lenox, Diagonal, Murray, Creston, Orient-Macksburg and Prescott.
Steve Akes, Union County engineer, said his crew is concentrating on all paved roads this morning, then hope to start scraping country roads this afternoon.
“The biggest problem our guys are facing is visibility,” Akes said. “They can’t even see beyond the hood of their truck on some of the country roads. So, we’re going to concentrate on the paved roads right now, going to use motor graders to get those roads to bare concrete.”
Akes said “the wind has been our worst enemy.” High winds are expected to continue throughout the day and into the evening. Akes said Friday is supposed to be clear and thinks his crew will have the most success then.
A blizzard warning is in effect until 6 p.m. tonight.
According to WHO13, the snow will end this afternoon, but blowing snow will continue throughout the day. Temperatures are going to fall throughout the day and lows tonight will be in the single digits. Wind chills will fall below zero.