Back into winter

A harsh reminder of winter after a couple of warmer days came to Hamilton County on Thursday.

A wintery mix of rain and ice turned into snow at about 11 a.m. yesterday. A downpour of snow followed that raged through the afternoon and began to settle in the early evening.

Five to nine inches of snow were expected. At press time, it is unclear how many inches of snow accumulated.

The blizzard caused many closures throughout the county. All Webster City schools, Stratford and Northeast Hamilton schools were closed for the day. South Hamilton released early at 11 a.m.

In Webster City, Kendall Young Library, Fuller Hall and City Hall were also closed. City Manager Ed Sadler said the city didn’t want people out on the dangerously slick roads in low visibility conditions.

While the snow was thick and fell quickly for several hours, Sadler said the city was able to deal with it well because it wasn’t inordinately cold outside. However, he said the city’s snow removal equipment had to move slower in Thursday’s blizzard.

Sometimes, thick snow can cause wide power outages when it takes lines down. On Thursday, as of press time, Sadler said only a few rural power lines that were more exposed to wind had been taken down. There were also reports of power outages in Kamrar and in isolated locations in Webster City on Third Street.

The blizzard warning is set to expire at 9 a.m. today. Blowing snow is possible through the weekend.