It's springtime in Iowa, which means the conditions are favorable for any kind of weather, no matter how bizarre. It's also a good time to revisit some of the things we, as Iowans, learned growing up, as well as educate those who may not be used to Iowa's extreme weather.
A storm, flood, or tornado watch means that conditions are favorable for the formation of tornadoes in thunderstorms. While no immediate action is required, you should be aware that a storm could develop and be prepared to seek shelter if necessary.
A warning means that a storm or tornado has been sighted on the weather Doppler radar and you should take shelter now.
According to the National Weather Service, a severe storm refers to hail greater than or equal to 1" in diameter and/or wind gusts that meet or exceed 58 mph. Although these storms can also be associated with dangerous cloud to ground lightning or heavy rainfall that is capable of causing flash flooding.
A tornado warning is something to be taken very seriously. Many people are killed each year because they are not aware that a storm is developing and are caught without proper shelter.
What you should do if a tornado warning has been issued or a tornado is sighted:
If you are in a house:
Representatives from MSA, a planning and development company from Ankeny, met with Hiawatha residents April 1 to talk about a new park in Hiawatha.
Shawn O'Shea, manger for the project, said the park will be located off of Fitzroy Road, north of Hiawatha, and west of Interstate 380, on this side of County Home Road. Though the park is not yet named, the development company is calling it, "Taylor Park," after the family, who sold the land to Hiawatha.
Residents were asked to list their ideas for the park on boards provided by the company, which included a recreation center, a swimming pool, a bike park, and trails that connect to the other parks in Hiawatha, as well as the Cedar Valley trail system. Other ideas included a skating rink and pickle ball courts.
O'Shea presented a power-point depicting the time-line for the project, which could take several years to design, and even more to complete.
Parks & Recreation director, Kelly Willadsen, reporting on the progress of the dog park, said because of the bad weather, water, and other issues, the construction may take longer than they thought. However, she said she would share more information as it becomes available.
The public is invited to participate in the Mary’s Meal’s 5K Run/Walk, Saturday, May 11, at 9 am, at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, 1350 Lyndhurst Drive in Hiawatha, to help raise funds for Mary's Meals.
Mary’s Meals is a nonprofit that raises funds to provide students in 18 developing countries with school lunches. For less than $20, one student can eat a nutritious school lunch for an entire school year.
According to race coordinator, Chelsea Schultz, not only do the funds allow a young person to eat a nutritious meal, it also gives them the opportunity to learn, too.
“Most families in these countries are so poor they have a difficult time feeding their children. With the help of Mary’s Meals, they can send their children to school to learn, and to eat.”
Mary's Meals buys most of the crops in the community where they are feeding children, which in turn helps their economy, according to Schultz. Many of the workers who grow the crops and prepare the meals are members of the communities, as well.
Schultz, along with her sister Annie Meyer, and a neighbor, Angie Hadley, organized the run last year. It was such a success they wanted to make it an annual event. Schultz said she got the idea when she heard Fergus MacFarlane-Barrow, founder of Mary’s Meals, speak at an event three years ago.
“I was inspired by his passion for the children,” she said. “For Lent that year, I decided to donate $20 to Mary’s Meal so a student could eat for a year. I told my friends and family about it, and they wanted to donate, too. That’s when I got the idea for a 5K.”
For more information on Mary’s Meals, visit marysmealsusa.org or the event’s Facebook page.
Winter may not be over, but we are already entering into tornado season, according to the National Weather Service (NWS), which states that March through June to be the most active months for tornadoes.
Not only is it a good time to refresh yourself with storm safety, but it’s also imperative to come up with a plan of action in case you are faced with a dangerous storm.
The level of storms can be confusing. Severe thunderstorms are capable of producing hail that is an inch or larger or wind gusts over 58 mph. Hail this size can damage property such as plants, roofs and vehicles. Wind this strong is able to break off large branches, knock over trees or cause structural damage to trees. Some severe thunderstorms can produce hail larger than softballs or winds over 100 mph. Thunderstorms also produce tornadoes and dangerous lightning; heavy rain can cause flash flooding.
According to the NWS, a watch means that conditions are favorable for a tornado to occur. A warning means that a tornado has been seen or picked up by radar. A warning requires you to take shelter and brace for a potential tornado.
A tornado warning is issued when a tornado has actually been sighted or has been picked up on radar in your area. This means that you need to take shelter immediately.
Things you can do to prepare for a storm according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Watch the skies and check the forecast for severe weather: Listen to local news or a Weather Radio to stay informed about severe thunderstorm watches and warnings.
Sign Up for Notification Apps: Sirens are meant for those who are outside. You can’t always hear sirens when you are inside. Sign up to receive weather notifications on your phone.
Create a Plan: Have a family plan that includes an emergency meeting place and related information. Pick a safe room in your home such as a basement or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows. Get more ideas for a plan at: https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan.
Hold Drills: Conduct periodic family drill regularly so everyone knows what to do if a severe storm occurs. Make sure all members of your family know to go there when severe thunderstorm warnings are issued. Don't forget pets if time allows.
Prepare Your Home : Keep trees and branches trimmed near your house. If you have time before severe weather hits, secure loose objects, close windows and doors, and move any valuable objects inside or under a sturdy structure.
Help Your Neighbor: Encourage your loved ones to prepare for severe thunderstorms. Take CPR training so you can help if someone is hurt during severe weather.
At Your House: Go to your secure location if you hear a severe thunderstorm warning. Damaging wind or large hail may be approaching. Take your pets with you if time allows.
At Your Workplace or School: Stay away from windows if you are in a severe thunderstorm warning and damaging wind or large hail is approaching. Do not go to large open rooms such as cafeterias, gymnasiums or auditoriums.
Outside: Go inside a sturdy building immediately if severe thunderstorms are approaching. Sheds and storage facilities are not safe. Taking shelter under a tree can be deadly. The tree may fall on you. Standing under a tree also put you at a greater risk of getting struck by lightning.
In a Vehicle: Being in a vehicle during severe thunderstorms is safer than being outside; however, drive to closest secure shelter if there is sufficient time.
For more information about storm safety, visit www.cdc.gov.
Below are a few renderings of what the library might look like after it is complete. According to Library Director, Jeaneal Weeks, the completed look may vary slightly, because of rising costs of materials. However, the expansion, which includes a lower level with a storm shelter, will enhance the quality of patrons' library experience overall.
Spring is still 3 weeks away, and though we will experience colder than normal temperatures the the next couple of weeks, we will eventually get our spring.
However, the worst is over, and just the fact that February is over makes everything better. When most people think of March, they think of warmer days, budding trees and flowers, and the shedding of winter coats.
But if that's not enough to get excited, here are a few more reasons to love March, courtesy of Reader's Digest.
March 1: As the saying goes, March comes “in like a lion, out like a lamb.” That was certainly true on March 1st, 2007, when a detachment of 170 Swiss infantrymen accidentally invaded neighboring Liechtenstein when they got lost on a training mission.
March 2: NASA astronaut Scott Kelly returned from space after one full year, setting a new record for the longest uninterrupted trip to space.
March 5: Thirsty bros observe Cinco De Marcho, initiating a 12-day drinking regimen for anyone who wishes to “train one’s liver for the closing ceremonies on St. Patrick’s Day.” By the way, this is why we wear green for St. Patrick’s Day.
March 6: The Day of The Dude encourages participants to honor The Big Lebowski by takin’er easy all day, man.
March 10: Daylight saving time begins, freeing American city-dwellers from the constant refrain of “it’s dark before I even leave work.” Don’t miss these other daylight saving time facts you probably didn’t know.
March 14: Pi Day celebrates the annual occurrence of 3/14 (3.14) with math jokes, pi-reciting competitions, and (of course) freshly baked pie.
March 17: St. Patrick’s Day turns the Chicago River green, and too many livers cirrhosis-damage-brown. (You’ll want to check out these St. Patrick’s Day “facts” that are actually false.) And on this day in 1973, Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of The Moon” first hits the Billboard Top 200 chart at number 95. A mere 14 years later (736 chart weeks, to be exact), it finally leaves the top 200 for the first time, setting a still-unbroken world record. (You’ve got a long way to go, Adele.)
March 20: The sun shines on the equator for the Vernal Equinox, giving us a near 50-50 split of day and night.
March 21: The 13th anniversary (2006) Twitter founder Jack Dorsey inaugurates the social media site with its profound first tweet: “just setting up my twttr”
Three Hiawatha firefighters were recent;y honored for their hard work and dedication.
Hiawatha firefighter, Stephen Craven, was recognized Jan. 8 at the department’s Awards Celebration as Hiawatha’s 2018 Volunteer Firefighter of the Year. Steve has been with Hiawatha Fire Department since 1997 and has served in a number of roles and has been one of the main pump and driving instructors.
Hiawatha Firefighter, Dan Veerhusen, was presented with the 2018 Paid Firefighter of the Year Award Jan. 10. And Shay Minear received the “Caring for the Community” award Jan. 8 or her work with public education.
In other news, members if the Hiawatha Fire Department and Bettendorf Fire Department covered for Camanche Fire Department during the services for fallen firefighter Lt. Eric Hosette, who died Jan. 5, while responding to a fire followed by an explosion at a grain processing facility in Clinton. A second firefighter, Adam Cain, 23, was injured during the blast and taken to Iowa City in critical condition.
A community service was held for Lt. Hosette Jan. 12 at the Riverview Bandshell in Clinton's Riverview Park, followed by private burial services. Eric is survived by his wife, Kelly, and his daughter, Addalyn. Memorials and donations can be made to a fund established at Clinton National Bank.
According to Eric’s obituary, his lifelong dream was to be a firefighter and started as a volunteer with the Camanche Fire Department. He joined the Clinton Fire Department on September 17, 2006 and was promoted Lieutenant on August 25, 2017. He was also the current Fire Chief of the Charlotte Fire Department. Just weeks before he was killed, Eric was named chief of the Charlotte Fire Department, a role his grandfather served in for 35 years.
Eric Michael Hosette was born on June 22, 1985 in Clinton, Iowa, the son of William and Gail (Grimm). He was a 2003 graduate of Camanche High School. He later attended the Trinity School of Nursing for paramedic certification.
On Sunday officials released an update saying he is now breathing on his own and he is awake and alert.
A second firefighter was also injured. Clinton Fire Chief Mike Brown also spoke about the injured firefighter, identifying him as FF Adam Cain. Chief Brown says Cain was first missing after the explosion. Once found, he was flown to Iowa City where he is now in critical, but stable condition.
Hiawatha residents gathered at City Hall Jan. 10 to meet with representatives from Bolton & Menk, an engineering firm, about future plans for Robins Road.
Boards were displayed around the multi-purpose room, which showed different goals, architectural designs, public space preferences, and streetscapes for Robns Road. Residents were asked to choose their preferences by placing a sticker on that particular space.
Adrian Holmes, a representative from Bolton & Menk, said this was the first in a series of public meetings, in which the public will be invited to share ideas before the report is submitted to the city of Hiawatha.
For more information and to see maps of the area, visit the city's website.
Something is different about the annual Lil Cougar dance clinic, held every January at the Hiawatha Community Center.
The clinic will still be taught by members of the Kennedy High School Dance Team. However, this year the team is going to teach the kids a dance routine by popular dance star, JoJo Siwa. JoJo Siwa is known for her big hair bows and style of dancing, who became popular through the TV series 'Dance Moms'.
According to Ambyr Severson, Parks and Rec coordinator, it is the same format as in previous years. The participants will learn a dance routine and then perform it at the end of the clinic.
The clinic will be held Sunday, January 27 from 1 to 2 pm, with the performance at 2 pm. The cost of the clinic, open to kids from kindergarten to 5th grade, is $25. Each participant will receive an official JoJo Bow at the completion of the program. For more information and to register visit the city's website.