Ice Storm Threat To Gateway Area

Jake Mosbach/Clinton HeraldPaul’s Discount Store Manager Randy Pennock stocks shelves with winter weather supplies Tuesday afternoon ahead of an expected ice storm. Pennock said the potential for severe weather brought area residents out in full force to purchase items such as rock salt to combat the slippery conditions.

CLINTON — Unfortunately for Gateway-area residents, Mother Nature hasn’t released her winter weather grip on the region, with an ice storm warning issued for Clinton County from mid-Tuesday afternoon to early this morning.

Ice accumulations of around fifteen-hundredths to three-tenths of an inch were expected across portions of Eastern Iowa, northern and west central Illinois, and far northeast Missouri, according to the NWS. Slight snow and sleet threats also were issued.

The potential for hazardous conditions brought on by the storm sent Clinton residents to stores to load up on necessary supplies such as rock salt and other de-icing agents.

“Oh my gosh, it seems like almost everyone we’ve seen today has left with winter weather things,” Paul’s Discount Manager Randy Pennock said Tuesday. “Any time you have a forecast like this, it seems like they fly off the shelves.”

Pennock said the store always has an excess of supplies as winter rolls around, ordering larger stocks as adverse weather conditions pop up. Unfortunately, planning for the storms can be tricky, as forecasts can change rapidly.

Pennock said he had planned to have even more supplies on hand Tuesday as the storm approached, but that the shipment had been delayed one day.

“No matter how much you can plan for these types of things, those plans can always change,” Pennock said.

Icy conditions can cause not only travel hazards as they leave their mark on Clinton, but also bring with them the threat of power outages. Utility crews may be busier than normal during the long icy nights, braving the storm to fix issues that may arise.

It’s not something that the crews are unprepared for, however.

“Our men and women are always on standby, because every day for us brings the opportunity for an emergency of some kind, like an outage,” Alliant Energy’s Justin Foss said. “Our crews are always equipped with the strongest equipment, and are always ready to fix the issue, whether it’s caused by ice or not.”

Foss said that ice alone is not the cause of the outages during weather emergencies, but the combination of ice and wind. NWS forecasts for Clinton showed relatively low wind threats, with gusts of 10 miles per hour expected.

Nevertheless, Alliant crews still prepared to attack a potential jump in outage reports.

“Let’s just say we can tell our crews to not make any plans (Tuesday night),” Foss joked. “They’ll be ready to get to work when and where they’re needed.”