Snowfall in Albia

IT WAS ALL HANDS on deck Monday morning as businesses cleared sidewalks and dug out from Sunday’s snowstorm. Pictured are Peoples State Bank President Kevin Kness and Vice President Mike Spieler manning shovels to clear off their sidewalks.

The official snowfall count was 11 inches in Albia, but you’re going to get considerable argument from people who will tell you they measured past 15 inches in their back yards and driveways.

Weather forecasters nailed it when they predicted an extremely heavy band of snow coming across the southern part of the state Sunday. In Albia, the snow started around 8 a.m., just as people were trying to get to the churches that didn’t cancel services. And the snow didn’t stop until 3 p.m., coming at a rate of about two inches per hour.

And there was no light fluffy stuff. It was a wet, heavy snow. Official snowfall amounts had 17 inches falling in Osceola and Oskaloosa, 14 inches in Chariton and about that much in Knoxville. Just five miles north of Albia, snow reports were much higher.

City crews worked through the night Sunday into Monday and had several “mountains” of snow piled up around the Albia square so that businesses could open. County crews had most of the gravel roads opened up by late Monday, even though some places had a single lane plowed out.

As predicted, winds did increase on Sunday creating some drifting, but the sheer weight of the snow helped diminish those problems. School was canceled on Monday and Albia had a late start on Tuesday with buses traveling only on main roads.

Sunday’s snowfall is one of the heaviest single day snowfalls in November history. With a seven and a half inch snowfall falling and then melting last week, snowfall totals for November is approaching 20 inches.

More moisture predicted

The extended forecast is for more moisture, but the next round (which will likely occur Friday into Saturday) is predicted to come down in the form of rain as temperatures rise throughout the week.

It’s likely Albia’s Victorian Stroll will have a white backdrop, but organizers are hoping the rain stays away.

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