Bracing for a blizzard

Snow, wind and dangerous driving conditions are forecasted for our viewing area Thursday.

The threat of the blizzard is forcing many to do some extra prep and planning, so they can avoid going out in the storm.

The upcoming weather has caused people to change or cancel their plans, some folks are even stocking up on supplies before the blizzard hits.

“It was kind of a no brainer for us.”

Mason City school officials are forced to make some new arrangements after a blizzard threatens to pose dangers driving conditions.

Student athletes competing in the State Wrestling Tournament is Des Moines this weekend are leaving tonight to beat the storm.

“Tomorrow morning, they were actually going to come into school, get a good work out in, load up, and then take off 9:00 in the morning. But yeah, we’re not going to take that chance,” says Activities Director, Bob Kenny.

Kenny was informed by State Tournament officials that the event would not be cancelled due to weather and that it was the school’s job to get the athletes to Des Moines on time.

The inclement weather forecast also caused the school to make the decision to cancel the fan bus which was scheduled to leave tomorrow.

“If it’s not absolutely necessary, then we’re not going to take those chances. Our cheerleaders are going down tonight also we really don’t want anybody on the road tomorrow, it just isn’t safe,” adds Kenny.

It’s not just schools bracing for the blizzard.

“Yes, we have been seeing more customers in today than usual.”

The manager of Bill’s Family Foods in Garner tells us people tend to “stock up” on supplies when big storms are in the forecast.

“Milk, bread are some of the main ones, also baking since people can’t really do anything else because of the weather they like to stay home and bake,” says manager, Brent Tjaden.

Rural roads especially will be difficult to travel on with strong wind gusts expected in the afternoon.

But despite that, Bill’s plans to stay open as long as they can.

“We like to stay open if at all possible just because there may be a few last minute items that people need.”

While the grocery store is going to try to stay open, no one should go out if they don’t have to

In fact, the Iowa State Patrol is encouraging businesses to close if the conditions get as bad as they’re expected to.

Those kinds of precautions are in place to save lives, for those on the roads, and emergency crews.

Lieutenant Dan Schaffer says if you don’t have to travel; don’t.

State Patrol is planning to monitor their staffing levels all day Thursday and plan to be out on the roads as long as they can to assist folks who may get into trouble.

“Truly if you’re out in the blizzard conditions, white out conditions, it’s a life threatening situations if you have problems. That means that absolutely if for some reason you are going out, you should have a close contact that knows where you’re going,” says Lt. Schaffer.

Besides that, he suggests that if you’re traveling to have a cell phone with a full battery and a winter emergency kit in your vehicle.

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