Blizzard leaves area breathless
Tue, 03/05/2019 - 3:21pm admin
Howard County - For the most part, Howard County had few emergencies in the middle of the blizzard this past weekend. Sheriff Mike Miner stated there were 84 weather-related calls from 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23 through 6 a.m. on Monday.
About 10 inches of snow fell and then was blown all over, forcing a tow ban and closing roads, including Highways 63 and 9.
The most intense call came from Colonial Manor Nursing Home in Elma on Sunday night, when an ambulance was called for a woman having chest pains.
The call came in around 7:30 p.m., Miner said. The motorgrader from Riceville was asked to open V-18, with the Riceville Ambulance following. He traveled south, while the Elma motorgrader started north out of town.
After the ambulance picked up its patient, it followed the county motorgrader from Elma to Highway 63, where a third county driver plowed a path north and then east on Hwy. 9. The entire ordeal took around four hours, Miner noted.
Some of the other calls Miner reported, included a call south of LeRoy, where a vehicle got stuck and the heater wasn’t working. Then about 7 p.m. on Sunday, southeast of Davis Corners, a husband, wife and two kids were taken to safety by law enforcement after getting stuck. He noted 5-6 vehicles got stuck on Willow Ave. (Protivin Road and part of Granger Road).
In addition, there was a cattle truck that got stuck about three-quarters of a mile north of Davis Corners and sat there overnight.
County Engineer Nick Rissman said the plows were out on hard surface roads for about 4-5 hours on Sunday, before being called in. “We did it because of visibility and the safety of our guys.”
He added when they finally got going on Monday, they were slowed down by stuck vehicles. “We’re spending a lot of time getting vehicles out of the middle of the road. There have been well over 30 vehicles stuck. It stopped us from making progress this morning.”
Many roads in the region were closed because of the storm. This included Interstate 35 from Ames, Iowa to Owatonna, Minn. Hwy. 63 was closed from New Hampton, Iowa to Lake City, Minn. Interstate 90 in Minnesota was also closed in places.
Quite a few counties in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin called for a state of emergency, including Mitchell County.
Numerous businesses were closed due to employees being unable to make it to work. Casey’s in Lime Springs was one of those businesses.
Many in the area found out that when it is announced travel not advised, they should probably heed the warning. If not for your own safety, do it for the emergency personnel and road crews who are put in peril because some individuals make poor choices.
Mother Nature doesn’t care if you forgot to get milk or cigarettes after a week’s worth of warning.