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Here Comes The Storm

February 5, 2016
by Jane Whitmore , Emmetsburg News

For the past week, we have been hearing about the snow storm. Of course, we didn't know how the storm was going to track...but...we were certain to be in the path of 8 to 12 inches of new snow.

The "calm before the storm" was Sunday and Monday with above average temperatures that melted the ice away. Thank you, Mother Nature.

Remember the movie Groundhog Day? It evolved around a time warp that occurred after a snow storm sent all the media back to Punxsutawney, PA. What's today? Groundhog Day!

All the national media was in Des Moines to report on the Iowa Caucuses. They were ready to bolt to New Hampshire ... until the snow ... on Groundhog's Day. We (Iowans) can handle it. But the way I've seen some of the national media folks dressed as they followed candidates around the state, they are not ready for an Iowa snow storm.

At the risk of really dating myself, I remember when ... the snow was sooo deep ... Highway 18 east was closed to traffic because the snow drifts were so tall. And, road crews had to be careful when plowing through those huge drifts so as not to hit a car buried beneath.

Over the years, snow removal equipment has improved. Dare I say, 35 years ago (or so) we had the opportunity to ride in a snow plow as they cleared the giant drifts on Highway 18.

We sat in the cab of the plow and could barely see over the top of the drift. The driver put the plow into gear and floored it, slamming into the drift with all its force. A few feet was cleared. He backed up and repeated the process again and again. It was a long process. Not many years after that, giant snow blowers were available in our area and made quick work of giant snowdrifts blocking the roadway. The living snow fences are also quite effective.

Over the years, drivers haven't gotten much smarter. They still try to out-run the storm, get home before the worst of the storm hits, and still end up in the ditch.

So here we are ... digging out from the latest snow.

By the way, Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow in Pennsylvania ... and he would not have seen his shadow in Palo Alto County either. So, we may be in for an early Spring. Keep that thought in mind as you move a little snow today.



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