Whew! – Emmet misses most recent round of icy winter weather
ESTHERVILLE–What a relief it was the massive weather event of the week totally ignored northwest Iowa over the past two days.
“We received a quarter-inch dusting of snow overnight into Tuesday,” said Emmet County Emergency Management Director Terry Reekers. “I talked to an individual who lives in Spirit Lake and they didn’t even get that quarter inch. We were really lucky because this was a very severe weather event.”
The severe weather had its wintry beginning in Oklahoma before marching into Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Illinois. It continues to track on an northeast path to the East Coast.
Iowa Governor Chet Culver issued an statewide emergency proclamation late Tuesday afternoon to assist those residents affected by the ice storm.
Reekers’ most recent update Tuesday night indicated 76,000 Iowans were still without electricity in the southern two to three tiers of the state. “It is being reported some areas may be without power for up to seven days in southern Iowa.”
In his proclamation, the governor said, “I’d like to thank all the line and utility workers out there working hard statewide to keep Iowa families warm and secure during this ice storm. These workers are once again rising to the occasion and putting their lives at risk to keep the power on, and they should be commended for their efforts.”
The proclamation waived the hours of service requirements for electrical repair crews and drivers while responding to disaster sites. This statement is in full force and effect for 10 days.
Reports from the National Weather Service noted a mixed bag of precipitation Monday into Tuesday dealt the Des Moines area with freezing rain, light freezing rain, snow, light snow, sleet, fog, fog with visibility less than one-quarter mile and haze.
Meanwhile, back in Emmet County, conditions during the same time included the quarter-inch of snow over night, wind gusts to 23 mph with mostly cloudy skies.
“For a time on Tuesday, the wind caused some blowing and drifting but didn’t create any problems,” Reekers commented.
Since Dec. 1, measurable snowfall stands at 8.6 inches locally while Des Moines received 6.4 inches. In the past 11 days, Emmet County has received 1 inch of ice in comparison to Des Moines’ 2.30 inches.
On Tuesday alone, Polk County received 1.2 inches of snow and .90 inches of precipitation. The high temperature reach 30 with a low of 24.
For calendar year 2007, Emmet County has received 65.80 inches of snow and 32.50 inches of rainfall. Normal amounts are 36 inches and 27-28 inches respectively.
Since Jan. 1, Des Moines precipitation amount totals to 41.10 inches. Snow measured in the center of the state is 11.2 inches since July 1.
In his Reekers’ opinion, there is nearly a 100 percent chance that Estherville and the surrounding area will be blanketed in white for Christmas.
Speaking of blankets, the local weather expert said cloudy nights do humankind and creatures of the wild a favor by holding in all the available heat.
“There’s no cooling like there is with a clear sky. “The clouds act like a blanket.“
The latest weather pattern is tied to the Gulf Stream which is whipping across the U.S. from west to east.
Reekers said an oddity occurred Tuesday as a tropical depression formed in the Caribbean. It’s odd because the hurricane season ended a few months ago.
“Residents just need to remember this, to make winter more tolerable, they need to be prepared at home, in the car and at work. Otherwise, it is a struggle all winter long.”
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