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Winter storm halts area activities – Schools and events sent into disarray

By Staff | Jan 22, 2008

ESTHERVILLE–Cancellations and postponements were flying as fast and as furious as the flurries Monday.

Before long, both were piling up.

It was a good thing all of the activities were halted as those flurries and flakes accumulated to 6 inches when the storm finally left the area overnight.

The high Monday was 8 but the wind chill factor caused that single digit to plummet to around minus 10.

Overnight into today, the skies were cloudy with a low temperature of minus 2. With the wind chill, the temperature could drop to minus 25 and the National Weather Service was forecasting the possibility of an additional half-inch of new snow.

Brad Small, a NWS meteorologist in Des Moines, said this latest storm developed from a low coming up from the southern plains into the Missouri Valley.

The easterly winds would switch to the north at speeds of 10-20 mph.

“There will be some blowing and drifting of snow on east-west roads. This will reduce visibility,” Small explained.

The weather expert said the temperatures will dive again with colder daytime readings of 5 to 10 degrees above zero on Wednesday. It’s projected the low Wednesday night will be minus 13, before the wind chill is factored into the equation.

During Tuesday night and Wednesday, northwest Iowa may be in store for a slight chance of snow.

Small did have good news and said the temperature will rebound to a high of 25 degrees on Friday.

This includes a 30 percent chance of snow. The sun will make an appearance today and Thursday with the high temperatures nudging up to 8 and 12 respectively.

Wind gusts today will zip upward to 20 mph.

Turning attention back to Monday’s weather and road conditions, Estherville Police Chief Eric Milburn said there was only one minor accident reported and had occurred in the high school parking lot.

The streets were 100 percent snow and ice covered but the city crews were out removing the precipitation all day.

“In town,” the chief said, “it is not as bad as out in the county. Drivers just have to use common sense, slow down, allow yourself plenty of time to get to your destination and drive defensively.”

Emmet County Sheriff Larry Lamack said as of 1:30 p.m., no accidents had been reported. He said up to 6 inches of snow had been forecast. “Drivers need to slow down and take their time.”

Contact Mary Ann Menendez at (712) 362-2622 or mmenendez@esthervilledailynews.com and visit our photo sharing Web site at cu.esthervilledailynews.com