Gracious Iowans dig each other out of heavy snowfall


ANKENY, Iowa — The hum of a snowblower became Iowa’s soundtrack on Saturday. “It was crazy, trust me,” said Elisha Dylan, who is still getting used to Iowa winters after moving to America from Africa in 2010.

Nearly a foot of snow blanketed some parts of Ankeny. Residents like Larry Ward were prepared to be snowed in. “I’ve lived in Iowa my whole life, so I knew it was coming sooner or later,” said Ward.

It’s a snow storm many Iowans hoped for a month ago. “Coming from Iowa, I love a white Christmas, and then after Christmas it can go away,” Ward said with a laugh.

Dylan initially planned to handle the snow with the ever faithful shovel. “It was crazy. I tried to call several people and services but they were not available and I was giving up,” Dylan said. Soon the purring sound of neighbor Ken Herndon’s snowblower provided Dylan the hope he’d been searching for. Herndon said, “This is a big job and with a shovel he’d be out here all day.”

The weight of that wet and packed snow literally lifted off of Dylan’s shoulders. “No, there was no way I’d be able to do this. Honestly it is too much,” said Dylan.

As billows of snow clouded the sky, it became an added accessory to hats, coats and gloves. “I’m bound to be wearing it for a while. Hopefully it melts off real quick,” said Herndon.

Areas where the sidewalk is supposed to be in Ankeny were unrecognizable. Mother Nature forced homeowners to guess where to start and end. “I’m going to have to take my shovel and put guidelines because I can’t tell where they are at now. Same with the side of the driveway,” said Ward.

The icy and snowy conditions may have kept Iowans off the roads but the roar of a snowblower’s motor served as an engine to help bring neighbors together. Herndon said, “We’ve got a great community. We have a very diverse community. I figure I was out here for the day and you just kind of help each other and get through this.”

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