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Justin Wan, Sioux City Journal 

Cars are seen on Wesley Parkway during a blizzard in Sioux City on Saturday. A little less than 6 inches fell on the metro and it took all the city of Sioux City's snow removal equipment to manage the storm.

Saturday's blizzard an all-hands-on-deck situation for Sioux City

SIOUX CITY — During the thick of Saturday’s blizzard, Sioux City streets superintendent Ed Pickens said there were 50 pieces of snow removal equipment on the road, something he noted was a little unusual for April.

“I don’t remember winters lasting this long,” said Pickens, who has worked in the city’s public works department for 21 years. "Just three or four years ago, we were planting flowers on the 21st or 22nd of March and winter was over.”

Saturday’s snowstorm dropped 5.7 inches on the metro, according to the National Weather Service office in Sioux Falls.

In preparation for the influx of powder, Pickens said there was a strategy meeting with his department and other local stakeholders including the Iowa Department of Transportation and first responders.

“For the most part, everybody knows who everybody is and what they do, we just like to get them reacquainted,” he said.

Pickens’ crews were on the roads before 10 a.m. Saturday as some of the city’s bridges started to freeze over and some were still working Sunday morning as the region saw scattered flurries.

“A lot of the streets are in really great shape,” Pickens said. “Usually, we’ll try to stay to the minimum amount of equipment to keep costs down, but at one point we had to put all of our equipment out on the street.”

Tim Masters, an NWS technician, said the snow was off and on for most of the day Saturday until about 11 p.m.

Dealing with what seems like an endless winter has been a challenge Pickens acknowledged.

“It has been a long year. It started out great, we didn’t get anything at the beginning of the year,” he said, in reference to the 2017-18 winter season. “November was good and then, oh, about the middle of December-ish — I can’t remember exactly — that’s when it seems like it took off with the temperatures and the snow.

“It’s been a different kind of year; I can only remember two or three weekends throughout the winter that we didn’t have crews coming in to do something.”

Although it's getting later into April, Old Man Winter has shown no signs of immediately vacating the region. Masters noted there is a chance Sioux City could see a rain/snow mixture from late Tuesday into Wednesday.

However, Pickens, who continually monitors the forecast, isn't deterred by the prospect of more precipitation.

"If it does, it does," he said of the potential snow. "If it does, we're going to be ready no matter what."

More weather information

Spring storm moves east after blanketing central US in snow

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota residents slogged through a mid-April storm Sunday that dumped 2 feet (half a meter) of snow on parts of the Upper Midwest, coated roads with ice and battered areas farther south with powerful winds and tornadoes before plowing toward the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic U.S.

The storm system prompted Enbridge Energy to temporarily shutter twin oil and gas pipelines in Michigan that may have been recently damaged by a ship anchor strike.

The Line 5 pipelines were temporarily shuttered Sunday afternoon due to a power outage at Enbridge's terminal in Superior, Wisconsin, Enbridge spokesman Ryan Duffy told The Detroit News. Enbridge decided to shut down the twin pipelines until weather conditions improve in the Straits of Mackinac, which links Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, Duffy said.

At least four deaths were blamed on the weather.

At Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, where more than 13 inches (33 centimeters) of snow had fallen, 230 flights were canceled Sunday. Two runways were open, but winds were still strong and planes were being de-iced, spokesman Patrick Hogan said. On Saturday, the storm caused the cancellation of nearly 470 flights at the airport.

The wintry grip on the Twin Cities continued to keep the boys of summer off the diamond, forcing the postponement of the third straight Minnesota Twins-Chicago White Sox game. The New Yankees and the Tigers were rained out Saturday in Detroit and had planned to play a doubleheader on Sunday, but those games also were postponed. The Los Angeles Angels at Kansas City Royals, Atlanta Braves at Chicago Cubs and Toronto Blue Jays at Cleveland Indians games also were rained out Sunday.

The prolonged wintry weather is "starting to beat everybody down," said Erik Ordal, who lives in downtown Minneapolis and was taking his 3-month-old golden retriever puppy, Dakota, out for a walk in the snow. Ordal, who grew up in South Dakota, said he is used to the cold, snowy weather "but I'm certainly ready for some warmth."

Two northeastern Wisconsin communities, Tigerton and Big Falls, received more than 2 feet (60 centimeters) of snow over the weekend, the National Weather Service in Green Bay reported. Parts of the state that were already blanketed were getting a second helping of snow on Sunday. The heavy snow caused part of a hotel roof to collapse over a pool at a hotel in Ashwaubenon, which is next to Green Bay, but no one was in the pool area at the time and no one was hurt.

The storm finally let up in South Dakota, allowing the airport in the state's largest city, Sioux Falls, to reopen for the first time since Thursday. Interstates 90 and 29 in parts of eastern South Dakota also reopened, and no-travel advisories were lifted across the state border in southwestern Minnesota.

In Michigan, freezing rain that began falling overnight had left roads treacherous and cut power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses by midday Sunday even as heavy snow was forecast to dump a foot or more of snow on parts of the state's Upper Peninsula by early Monday.

In North Carolina, authorities declared a local state of emergency in the city of Greensboro after an apparent tornado caused damage Sunday afternoon in several locations. Greensboro police said in a tweet that there also was one storm-related fatality but they did not elaborate. Media reports prior to the police tweet said high winds damaged at least seven homes, destroyed a mobile classroom at an elementary school, and toppled trees and power lines.

To the south, officials in Lexington County, South Carolina, said several buildings were damaged and toppled trees were blocking roads, but no injuries were reported.

Tens of thousands of homes and businesses in the Carolinas were without power Sunday.

In addition to the Greensboro fatality, three other deaths were blamed on the weather.

A sleeping 2-year-old girl in Louisiana was killed when a tree fell on her family's recreational vehicle early Saturday. A Wisconsin woman was killed when she lost control of her minivan on slick roads and veered into an oncoming SUV. And an Idaho truck driver was killed when his semitrailer struck a semi in western Nebraska that had been stranded on a highway by the bad weather.

In Arkansas, a tornado ripped through the tiny Ozark Mountain town of Mountainburg on Friday, injuring at least four people. In Texas, hail the size of hen eggs fell south of Dallas, according to meteorologist Patricia Sanchez.

And another round of snow is possible midweek in the Upper Midwest, said meteorologist Eric Ahasic at the National Weather Service in Chanhassen, Minnesota.

"It's not going to be as much snow as this one, thankfully," Ahasic said.


Callahan reported from Indianapolis.

Latest Woodbury County court report

Before Judge Jeffrey Poulson

Joseph John Edwards, 46, Sioux City, forgery (habitual offender enhancement) -- two counts; sentenced April 13, 30 years prison suspended, five years probation.

Jeremiah Adrian Grosvenor, 38, Sioux City, possession of a controlled substance -- third offense; sentenced April 11, five years prison suspended, three years probation.

Travis Patrick Lynch, 43, Sioux City, second-degree theft; sentenced April 12, five years prison suspended, two years probation.

Terry Alvis Gaynor, 48, Onawa, Iowa, third-degree burglary, second-degree theft; sentenced April 12, five years prison suspended, three years probation.

Anthony Barton, 28, Sioux City, eluding, absence from custody; sentenced April 11, 15 years prison.

Terry Lee Bouchal, 44, Sioux City, third-degree burglary, second-degree criminal mischief, operating a vehicle without owner's consent, probation violation; sentenced April 11, probation revoked, 10 years prison.

Jose Antonio Coronado, 26, Sioux City, third-degree burglary; sentenced April 10, deferred judgment, two years probation.

Matthew James White, 50, Sioux Falls, second-degree theft; sentenced April 11, five years prison.

Eastly James Bolton Jr., 38, Sioux City, possession of a controlled substance -- third offense; sentenced April 10, 15 years prison.

Samuel Robert Blakey Jr., 19, South Sioux City, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance; sentenced April 10, deferred judgment, two years probation.

Matthew John McInerney, 47, Sioux City, accessory after the fact; sentenced April 9, two years prison suspended, one year probation.

Jeremiah Scott Pettersson, 33, Sioux City, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance; sentenced April 10, 10 years prison suspended, four years probation.

Gregory Mitchell Redden, 36, Sioux City, operating while intoxicated -- second offense, assault on a peace officer, second-degree criminal mischief; sentenced April 9, seven years prison.

Conner Devlin Ulerich, 25, Sioux City, possession of a controlled substance -- third offense, probation violation; sentenced April 9, probation revoked, 10 years prison.

Benjamin Murray Wilkerson, 21, Waucoma, Iowa, second-degree theft; sentenced April 9, deferred judgment, three years probation.

From Our Blogs
BRUCEBLOG: Garrett's popcorn got me through the blizzard

God bless Garrett’s.

If you’re not familiar, it’s a popcorn place in Chicago that has amazing caramel corn. The company has a stand at O’Hare Airport and, usually, the line is longer than the one for security check-in.

Thursday, I was in Madison, Wisconsin, for a business meeting and vowed to get the popcorn on my way back Friday.

Sure enough, weather reared its ugly head and I barely got to the Madison airport when word went out, “There’s bad weather coming.” In Wisconsin, that just looked like rain. Still, I got an earlier flight and figured I could use the time to wait in that popcorn line.

Madison to Chicago? No problem. I ate dinner, read newspapers, started a book and got the popcorn. Fifteen minutes before the plane to Sioux City was to board, a notice went up at the gate: Cancelled. No one explained why, but I was rebooked and told I could sleep in a chair at the airport.

“Is there a hotel I can go to?” I asked. “I don’t know,” the gate agent said. “You’ll have to Google hotels.”

Google hotels? Aren’t airlines supposed to be helpful?

I dug into the popcorn.

Once I found a place that had an airport shuttle, I walked through the tunnel of death (“Go down two floors, then up one,” I was advised by a security guard) before finding a door where a bunch of pilots and flight attendants were standing. When I told them I was trying to get to Sioux City one wished me “good luck” and said it was unlikely I’d get home the next day, too.

The popcorn bag was opened once more.

I got to the hotel and, although it looked nice, its restaurant had been closed for several hours. “We have vending machines,” I was told. So, I got a Coke and, once again, enjoyed the popcorn.

Saturday morning, things looked brighter. I got on the shuttle, got to the gate and didn't touch the popcorn (now, down to "regular" size).

The plane boarded and we were up, up and away. The drink cart came out, I had a Coke and was told that all of the snacks had gluten. Now, if you’ve got to be gluten-free, that means “no snack.” So, I plowed through the popcorn once more (yup, it’s gluten-free) and figured I’d eat when I got home.

The plane made it to Sioux City but conditions were such that it couldn’t land. We circled six times, then left for Omaha, where we were told we’d wait it out. “Don’t leave the gate area,” we were told. “We’ll have snacks.”

Betcha can’t guess. Nothing was gluten-free. Even worse, the airport concession stand folks told me they had nothing gluten-free, either. I bought a Coke and went back to the caramel corn. The regular-sized now looked like like sample-sized.

An hour later, we got on the plane, got to Sioux City (thank you, God) and I diced with death on the interstate. I dug in the bag one last time and cleared out every unpopped kernel.

The city streets were OK but my driveway was a mess. I tried gunning it, got stuck and had to shovel. Once I got into the garage, I pulled out that empty bag and realized it had helped me through three tough days.

Sure, I probably had enough sugar to caramelize my large and small intestines, but I survived the umpteenth blizzard of 2018.

Thank you Garrett’s.

Marriage licenses

Marriage licenses issued recently in Woodbury County:

David William Pritchard, 56, Ottawa, Illinois; Cindy DiAnne Lafferty, 53, Sioux City

Owusu Fordjour, 49, Sioux City; Vida Konadu, 47, Sioux City

Austin Gregory Struble, 29, Sioux City; Jessica Jane Wagner, 26, Sioux City

Justin Michael Cook, 30, Sioux City; Kimberly Rene LeFebvre, 35, Sioux City

Robterrius Demarques Emerson, 31, Sioux City; LaNye Savanah Favors-Manley, 29, Sioux City

Adam Ray Muecke, 34, Climbing Hill, Iowa; Hannah Elisabeth Linden, 34,Climbing Hill

Kelly Gerald Wood, 40, Sloan, Iowa; Jennifer Anne Reed, 35, Sloan

Seth Thomas Roberg, 22, Grand Island, Nebraska; Lauren Ashley Lennon, 21, Dakota City

Kevin Michael Bruning, 22, Sioux Falls; Autumn Marie Peterson, 23, Sioux Falls

Brandon Roger McDonald, 29, Sioux City; Teri Lynn Sweatt, 36, Sioux City

Mario Alberto Diaz-Gale, 30, South Sioux City; Glenda Juliana Perez, 30, South Sioux City

Michael Alan Van Voorst, 35, Sioux City; Melanie Ann Craig, 42, Sioux City

Corey Everett, 29, Sioux City; Tieonna Leshae Everett, 23, Sioux City

Steven Vance Barrows, 39, Sioux City; Nicole Dawn Johnson, 32, Sioux City


Due to incorrect information from content provider, the Tax Day quiz that appeared on page F3 of the Sunday, April 15, edition of The Journal had an incorrect answer. In 1944, Congress raised the top income tax rate to 94 percent.