Winter storm blankets county

Eight inches of snow fell on Webster City after a Sunday snowstorm, according to the National Weather Service reporting station in town. 11 inches of snow was reported in Fort Dodge, four inches in Ames and just over two inches in Des Moines

Reports of downed powerlines, power outages and drivers sliding off the road came in quickly to the Webster City Police Department and Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department. However, only a couple of accidents, one car accident on Superior Street and a report of a jack-knifed truck, were reported to the Webster City Police Department.

Schools and activities across and beyond Webster City were cancelled due to the weather. The decision to call a snow day for Webster City Community Schools marked the seventh day the district has shut down due to snow during this school year. The state allows the district to consider days spent for parent and teacher conferences to be considered school days, which leaves five days for school to make up. Superintendent Mike Sherwood said if those lost days were added to the end of the school calendar, the last day of school for Webster City students would be June 6.

However, Sherwood said that the district has many construction projects planned for this summer and adding those extra days would postpone construction by a week. Sherwood said he and the school board will discuss how best to deal with making up for those snow days.

Webster City Schools were faced with a similar situation in 2010 when the district accumulated 10 snow days during the winter. The district chose to add an additional 45 minutes to the end of the school day for several weeks in March to make up for those snow days. But, Sherwood said that the expansion of school days was specifically allowed by the state and wouldn’t be an option for this year.

Among other options considered in 2010, the district thought to hold school days on Saturdays. Sherwood said that option was not ideal, as it could interfere with family plans, part-time work and other activities.