The Ottumwa Courier

January 31, 2013

Crews deal with winter storm

City hauls in 300 tons of sand

CINDY TOOPES
Courier Staff Writer

OTTUMWA — The snowstorm arrived during Wednesday’s wee hours and left more than a few inches of the good ol’ white stuff across the city.

Steve Edgington, the Ottumwa public works director, said he had been up since 4 a.m. Wednesday, and the snowstorm began about 30 minutes later. He noted the city was going to “be out for some time [Wednesday], and they will go all day.”

Winds also picked up, and Edgington said the crews were scheduled to work all day and that the night crew was likely going to be busy Wednesday night.

“They won’t quit until everything has been gone through,” he said. “Everything has to be plowed at least once.”

Crews work on the emergency routes as long as they can. If the wind starts to make a mess of the plowing, then crews can break off and work on the emergency routes and side streets. Emergency workers can help with any problems there, Edgington added.

On Tuesday, the city hauled in 300 tons of sand, and Edgington said it’s “about time to order some more.”

“I can hear the wind picking up,” he added.

The city remained under a snow emergency Wednesday in order for city crews to properly clear roadways throughout Ottumwa.

Wapello County Engineer Brian Moore said the weather development was “just the regular snow.” He said he’d driven out Eddyville Road and Agency-Hedrick Road and observed the weather conditions and development.

“It was a normal winter storm,” Moore said. “If you drive slowly, you can tell there’s a layer of ‘stuff’ on the road.”

Moore hopes the crews will “get it peeled off” soon and said his workers started on it Wednesday morning.

“We didn’t get a lot of snow out in the county. It was a normal winter storm,” he said.

And while the snow subsided Wednesday, the forecast calls for colder temperatures today and Friday. The high for today is expected to top out at 11 degrees, and the low is forecast to go down to a chilly 8 below zero. Friday’s forecast calls for a high of 17 degrees. Saturday and Sunday will be warmer, with temperatures in the low- to mid-30s.