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First large snowfall causes few problems

BY ALLIE WRIGHT | DECEMBER 13, 2010 7:10 AM

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Veteran Iowans may not have considered this past weekend's weather out of the ordinary, but California native Layla Pena was nervous as she drove around Iowa City.

The University of Iowa sophomore said the slick roads made her nervous as her friend, UI sophomore Monique Singson turned a corner, but Singson wasn't as concerned.

"I think it's because it hasn't been that bad, and they had time to get [the snow] cleared off," she said.

Though the weekend brought the year's first major snowfall in Iowa City, officials said residents were lucky.

Two to three inches of snow fell in eastern Iowa this weekend, said National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Lee, with sharply lower temperatures and strong winds hitting on Sunday.

Authorities said there had been few weather-related car accidents.

Iowa City police Sgt. Mike Lord said he wasn't aware of any injuries this weekend, though some streets presented bigger obstacles.

"The places we had problems were on the main hills, like Jefferson Street and Market Street," Lord said. Streets also became slick when the rain froze on the ground on Dec. 11.

"We have been really fortunate," said State Patrol Sgt. Sharon Kurt.

She said there were only a couple of cars in the ditch on the evening of Dec. 11 and one minor injury in a rollover accident on Highway 6 over the weekend.

Kurt said she is very surprised there were not more accidents, considering the warnings sent out about harsh weather conditions.

Matt Gregg, of Extreme Towing and Recovery, said his company hadn't been called out for weather-related reasons.

More snow is expected this week, but it likely won't be too severe and without strong winds, Lee said. It's still too early to say how much snow could fall.

"In the next week, it looks cool and quiet for the next couple of days," Lee said.

Today will have a high temperature of 7 degrees, with a low of minus-7 and a windchill of 20 below. Snow is most likely Wednesday during the day and evening.

Lee said there are windchill advisories out for almost all of eastern Iowa, with one going through noon today in Iowa City.

Thursday is expected to be the warmest day of the week, with a high of 27 degrees.

He said the forecast for this week does not appear to be hazardous at this time

Lee said this year's snow storm resulted in less snow than last year, which was about 7 inches during the Dec. 8, 2009 storm, but the wind was much stronger this time around.


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