A WINTRY BEGINNING

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News

February 27, 2013 - 12:00 AM

Storm falls short of forecasts

Early Tuesday morning, with wet, wind-driven snow plastering her thick curly coat, Bossy left the herd and struck out for a brushy corner of pasture southeast of Humboldt.
From experience, the cow knew she was about to have a calf.
At mid-morning the event occurred. In short order a strong and rambunctious calf was at her side. The brisk wind and ankle-deep snow seemed only to invigorate the calf as its searching nudges for milk were so pronounced they almost caused mom to shudder.
Cows are bred to have calves in mid- to late winter, so their offspring are at the right size and weight to move on to feedlots or be ready to join a breeding stock later the same year.
Cows like privacy during birthing. Maybe because of the many chores the mother has to endure after the event.
That Tuesday’s storm fell short of that forecast was no great advantage. New calves have an inborn means of dealing with adverse weather conditions. Even so, temperatures in the low 30s and an ebbing of snow made for a better comfort level.
BY LATE Monday forecasts called for up to a foot of snow for the Iola area. Wind could make for blizzard conditions. Allen Countians were on the heels of a pretty good dose of winter last week.
Instead, the county seemed in be in the peaceful eye of the storm with snow falling all around but here.
As late as 3 a.m. Tuesday no snow of any appreciable amount had fallen.
A bit later the snow finally arrived.
“I called out our crew at 4 o’clock,” said Bill King, director of Public Works for the county. 
City workers tore into two to three inches of snow on downtown streets about the same time.
By noon Iola thoroughfares were clean and most side streets, with the temperature above freezing and ample traffic to help out, were easily passable.
The south two-thirds of the county received three to four inches of snow and the northern tier a little more, said Sheriff Bryan Murphy, who joined six other county officers and a reserve in patrols to look for folks in need of assistance.
“We had a few vehicles slide off roads and there was a minor non-injury accident on the east side of LaHarpe,: Murphy said.
The only significant property damage reported was a handful of power poles pulled over by snow building up on electric lines running along Connecticut Road southeast of Humboldt. Crews had power restored by late afternoon.
“We also had a power line down northeast of LaHarpe, but that was about it,” Murphy reported.
Kansas Department of Transportation plows sliced through mushy snow on highways 54, 59 and 169 and by afternoon much of the pavement already had dried.

IN ADDITION to not being a particularly troublesome event — except for precautionary closings of schools, businesses and offices — the snow and preceding light showers brought about .35 of an inch of moisture, an aside farmers welcomed.
The recent snows will be of particular advantage to winter wheat, with all moisture soaking in to root level.

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