Oskaloosa.com

Local News

December 21, 2012

Blowing snow impedes travel Thursday

OSKALOOSA — The Oskaloosa area didn’t get a record amount of snow by Thursday morning. However, strong winds helped maintain Blizzard Warning conditions throughout the daytime hours.

The National Weather Service notes that a Blizzard Warning means “severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Falling and blowing snow with strong winds and poor visibilities are likely. This will lead to whiteout conditions ... making travel extremely dangerous. Do not travel. If you must travel ... have a winter survival kit with you. If you get stranded ... stay with your vehicle.”

Jamey Robinson, Mahaska County Emergency Management coordinator,  said the Oskaloosa area received 3 inches of snow by mid-mourning on Thursday. He added that the area got lucky because Wednesday night’s precipitation stayed in the form of rain as long as it did.

“We got lucky by getting all that extra rain,” said Robinson.

The fact that the Oskaloosa area did not get a  large amount of snow may have been deceiving to some drivers, which Robinson said was  a concern of his. He said the strong winds caused white-out conditions along Highway 63, between Oskaloosa and New Sharon.

On Thursday morning, Robinson noted that the Iowa Department of Transportation advised against travel across the state.

Most area residents know that Oskaloosa and Mahaska County are no strangers to blizzard conditions. Robinson recalled the a time when winter weather conditions became dangerous back in December of 2010.

“It was actually worse than this,” said Robinson.

Robinson encouraged people to take Thursday’s weather into consideration for the future, noting that it’s a good idea to be prepared with supplies  during dangerous winter weather. He also encouraged people too heed the warnings from public officials during winter weather events.

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Herald City Editor Andy Goodell can be reached at  news2@oskyherald.com.

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