BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – A winter storm that blew through the area dumped the first heavy snow on Fort Madison since November, sending kids into “snow angel” mode and city crews to the streets.
More than 10 inches of snow was recorded in several areas of Fort Madison and city officials issued an Emergency Snow Ordinance effective 8 p.m. on Saturday night. Cars should be parked on the odd side of the streets on even days, and on the even side of the street on odd-number days until 6 p.m. the following day. Sunday will be the 13th, so cars should be parked on the even-numbered sides of city streets. The ordinance will be in effect until further notice.
Vehicles not in compliance are subject to a citation and possible towing.
It was predicted by the National Weather Service out of the Quad Cities to begin snowing at about 6 p.m. Friday forcing changes to many school activities. However the snow showed up late, and stayed late as it was supposed to taper off at about noon Saturday, but was still coming down lightly at 6 p.m. Saturday afternoon.
City, county, and state crews began preparing streets for the impending snow storm Friday afternoon and then began plowing late Friday evening and early Saturday morning.
City Building Director Doug Krogmeier is reminding residents that residential sidewalks need to be tended to shortly after accumulation stops.
In addition to city code on removing snow and ice from sidewalks, the city could initiate a notice to abate nuisance if snow removal isn’t done in a timely manner.
The abatement would require all snow and ice to be removed with 24 hours after snow stops accumulating. Snow and ice must be removed from all public sidewalks with the city limits. The city can at some point, if no action is taken by the property owner, abate the nuisance by clearing the sidewalks themselves and assess the property owner for the costs of the abatement
County and state crews also started working early Saturday morning to clear highways. Roadways leading to the Hwy. 61 bypass were snow-covered until Saturday afternoon, with slick on and off ramps. The bypass itself was passable in one lane but snow covered in the other, while crews worked around the county.
Several cars were found spun into ditches along the highways, especially in the southern part of the county. The Lee County Sheriff’s Department had extra manpower on the county highways to help mitigate dangerous situations.
All area sports events for Saturday were postponed including the annual Cake Auction at the Holy Trinity Catholic basketball games against Fort Madison. The games were postponed until Monday starting at 6 p.m.