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I hate to say we told you so…wait…no I don’t. We were supposed to tell you this was going to be a mess and it’s going to be.

At the writing of this blog, the changeover to snow is about an hour and a half to two hours away. It looks like heavy snow today into Friday. Up north they’re going to get the worst of it. Again, the debate this morning was over the tone of the broadcast. We know weather is #1 on your mind and ours. We aren’t trying to suggest the world is going to end, we live in Iowa and we war, after all, used to the snow. The thing about this storm is that it adds on to an already stressed system to deal with the potential emergencies that come with winter weather. We had reports from Alliant Energy that some of their lines in story county went out last night after an uptick in the wind. That has to be frustrating to already exhausted crews who are trying to get some 55-thousand people back online. I’m afraid it’s going to get worse before it gets better.
The other thing I wanted to point out is the difference we’re going to see in snowfall over a small area. If you live out west you could be coming home to 8 inches of snow, while the southeast side of Des Moines might get one to three inches. It’s going to lead a lot of people to ask why we were making a big deal out of the storm. I would only answer that it is a big deal for a lot of those Iowans outside the Metro.

Please look to the WHOTV.COM for updates on the weather, the closings and the other information you are going to need as this storm blows over. Let’s hope the ice is light, and the power lines hold under the stress of the wind. If you know someone who’s power is out please encourage them to make plans to stay the next few days elsewhere. We’ve got a list of shelters around the state linked to the As Seen On portion of the website.

Not much else to say this morning.
If you missed the mention on the morning news, Mr Ed had an important family commitment come up this weekend so He’s asked me to help host the JDRF walk to cure diabetes Saturday. I’m happy to help out and was actually thinking about walking in the event anyway. My sister was diagnosed this year with diabetes, and I’ve seen the way the condition changes someone’s life. This event has been one of the most successful walks around the country for years. I hope we can help make this one even more successful than the last. Please come out and join us for the walk. Registration starts at 8am.

9:00am update: The DOT is talking about closing I-35 north of Ames. Also anywhere west of the metro on I-80 it looks like roads are completely ice covered. I just talked to Jeriann and she still thinks the changeover will happen quickly here in the Metro. Good news for us because that would mean less ice.

10:44- I’ve got myself glued to the set now as we continue live updates this morning. Here are some of the headlines as the snow starts to fall in the metro:
-At Noon we should get an update from the Governor at Stark Armory.
-Snow is falling North and West of Des Moines. Once it starts…it’s falling fast.
-I-80 west of Stuart is closed
-The Iowa DOT is talking about closing I-35 north of Ames.
-Basically you can’t travel in the Northwest quadrant of the state.
-Iowa’s Congressional Delegation will ask President Bush for a disaster declaration for the Iowa counties effected by the storms.
-Iowa State University is canceling classes after one this afternoon.
-A lot of Metro schools are closing early. Check the list online.

We’ll be back for a live update in a couple of minutes.
PWD

11:06- Just finished interrupting your Rachel Ray to get you some live updates.
On a day like today, we’re flying by the seat of our pants. I love it.
Our Executive Producer is scribbling down the elements he wants in each update on a scrap piece of paper and we’re just going without scripting.
Jon Cahill looked cold and wet from Fort Dodge. He told me over the Satellite that they’d been driving around Fort Dodge where businesses are closing along with schools and roads because of the weather. Jon says driving on Hwy 20 is pretty bad already. It looked like he had about 3 inches of snow over a layer of ice.
Nothing ever goes the way you expect on a day like today. We’ve had some minor technical gremlins trying to trip us up all morning, but as always the crew here in the newsroom and in the WHO Production department are working around it. Kudos to Jeriann…first for the forecast. I think you can say she got this one right. Second, She’s going on adrenaline. It is a pleasure to work with someone who really loves her job. She does.
None of the on-air work you see would be possible without the effort of a lot of people who never get credit. We also appreciate their effort rolling with the punches this morning.
This may be my last Update but I’ll leave the computer up for Trish is she wants to blog during the Noon.

Be safe,
PWD

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