Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

May 3, 2013

Snowstorm in May

Steve Woodhouse
Journal-Express

Marion County — Reports of power lines down, several cars in the ditch, snow plows out on the roads and a school cancellation are nothing new to the people of Marion County. However, this report seems more likely to describe conditions in December, or even early March, not Friday, May 3. 

"I just had a gut feeling we weren't done," Knoxville Street Superintendent Dennis Webb said this morning. He said the department always removes its plows on April 15, but, this year, he decided to leave two on. Both of those trucks are plowing City streets right now. 

Knoxville is not putting down any materials as the plows cross. Webb is hopeful that the rain, expected this afternoon with warmer temperatures, will be enough to clear everything up. 

Meanwhile, the unexpected snowfall is bringing with it the danger of downed power lines. Several reports of these instances have already poured into local law enforcement. Melcher-Dallas Fire and Indiana Township Fire are at least two of the departments who have already been paged out for these emergencies. 

Knoxville Police Chief Dan Losada said that if you see a power line down, call the police and do not approach the line. He also reported the danger of trees falling over, under the weight of the snow and leaves developed in warmer weather, which was just a few days ago. 

Twin Cedars and Knoxville students are enjoying a couple of extra hours off. The schools were delayed two hours. Pleasantville and Melcher-Dallas are closed. 

Though there have been no accidents The Marion County Sheriff's Office has received many reports of cars in the ditch. Some were still occupied. Driving along Highway 163, most of the traffic was moving along at around 40 miles per hour. The vehicles in the ditch served as reminders to respect the snow and slush on the road, by slowing down. 

In Pella, the tulips that had begun to bloom were all frosted with at least an inch of snow. The green and other bright colors of the flowers barely shown through the bland white snow. Streets and displays, which should be bustling with Tulip Time tourists, are empty. 

At last measure, there are at least two inches of snow on the sidewalks in front of the Journal-Express office. WIth big flakes of snow falling steadily for the past several hours, including yesterday afternoon and evening, the official total will likely be much more. 

We will continue to follow the May snowstorm and bring you a full report when it ends.