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Local

Snow problem

Newton accumulates a few inches of snow from weekend storms

Effects from Friday night’s snowstorms tapered off as it reached Newton, roughly accumulating about 1 inch throughout town and than another inch or so from a secondary storm the next day, a National Weather Service meteorologist said.

Other towns in Jasper County were not as lucky as the storm rolled its way through the state. Meteorologist Roger Vachalek said Baxter reported about three inches of snow, for instance. Cold temperatures have maintained much of the snowfall thus far.

Comparatively, parts of Newton did not receive as much snow as other parts of the state. Places like the Des Moines metro reported 2 to 4 inches. Surrounding communities like Altoona and Indianola recorded 4.2 inches and 4.3 inches, respectively.

“It quickly lessened in amount as it was moving east-northeast,” Vachalek said. “There was a little bit more sleet or even in some cases some freezing rain involved with the precipitation that moved through, so that cut down on snowfall totals — in some cases a little more dramatically.”

Before the storm made its way into Jasper County, the surrounding communities braced for impact. Several schools had announced early outs; Newton Community School District Superintendent Bob Callaghan specifically cited impending storm warnings.

Newton Fire Department acknowledged the storm’s peculiar timing in a Facebook post on Friday.

“After 50 degree temperatures yesterday it is hard to believe that we are watching a winter storm,” the department said, adding that being “weather aware is the best way to keep you and the family safe.”

Knowing a storm was on its way, public works crews prepped the primary roads with a salt brine to reduce the adhesion of snow.

Mike Ward, public works operations superintendent, said a crew stayed late to plow the main streets in Newton, collectively devoting about 12 hours to clearing streets of snow by the time the storm had hit.

“They were able to basically plow and take care of everything and got done Saturday morning at 7 a.m.,” Ward said. “With that we were kind of anticipating more snow but obviously the snow went to the east of us and kind of skirted us. We really didn’t have to bring another crew in on Saturday.”

The snow removal ordinance was not put into effect Friday or Saturday. Residents who want to know if snow removal operations are in effect should call 641-791-SNOW.

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or cbraunschweig@newtondailynews.com

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