January 9th through 14th snow storms

Here are some scenes in/around Manning, Iowa, during the recent snow storms/blizzard where we received 12 to 15 inches from the 2 low-pressure systems.
Winds gusted around 50 MPH with sustained 40 MPH winds.
By no means an unusual or record-breaking event but the most snow we've had for a while and also a sustained cold snap with highs below 0 for a couple of days.

I'll start with a couple of scenes of our creek on the north edge of East Street, and then show some images from the following days where the timeline will be from the most recent to the older.


The creek nearly blown full during the 3-day blizzard in 1975 - January 10 - 12.
12+ inches with sustained 80 MPH and 100 MPH gusts during the worst part of the storm.


January 10, 2024


January 13, 2024 similar view as above of our farm to the west


January 13, 2024

Looking west on our bottom road - the bean plant is barely visible to the upper left

2:58 PM January 13 - the snowfall was mostly over with still some flurries, but most of the snow you see airborne and sifting is being picked up by the strong northwest winds.


2:52 PM looking south to the bridge on East Street.
This part of the road historically plugs up.
I saw one 4-wheel drive vehicle get stuck here.
Also another one got stuck over by the bean plant entry.
Having been a veteran driver in blizzards since 1975, I've learned when to take a chance with a 4-wheel drive and when not to.
Although I got stuck on a few occasions when Brian Lage & I would drive around the countryside during blizzards when we were still in high school.
Now today I don't like to drive into Manning until the snow is all cleared.
Our farm had what was called full-time 4-wheel drive - 1974 Chevrolet pickup.
All 4 wheels were pulling and when it got bad you would move a lever in the cab that would disengage the middle differential so power was forced to both the front and back axles.
It got 10 MPG on the highway and 5 in the country when in full 4-wheel drive.
It was the most reliable transmission/differential system I recall - we never had any problems with it all of the years we had it.


2:22 PM


2:27 PM Fourth & Elm Street Intersection


2:27 PM


2:28 PM
Leave it up to Midwest ingenuity and farmer thinking to use a manure spreader to help haul away the snow piles.
The city had only one dump truck this day so Steve Renze offered to bring in their huge manure spreader - which worked like a charm.

The sun would occasionally peek through the airborne snow.

2:32 PM unloading down by the concrete pile (the old J&S Elevator location)


2:33 PM


2:37 PM


Pile of snow keeps growing


2:40 PM the hospital once stood where this pile of snow is


2:44 PM a skid loader is used to push the last part of the pile into the bucket of the end loader.
Anyone who has ever scooped up loose soil, manure, or snow will know how irritating it is when you try to pick up up what's left at the end - it just keeps sliding ahead of the bucket.


2:45 PM looking west toward Elm Street from Fourth Street.


3:01 PM back on our farm


The last original tree on our farm - a Norway Spruce over 130 years old


An old Yew on the left and American Arborvitae on the right.

Video January 13, 2024, 7:39 PM
The wind is out of the northwest and as you can see there is no movement here on the inside of the windbreak.


January 12, 2024

Video January 12, 2024, 12:13 PM
We tore down what was left of the old windbreak in 1969 and started adding a new windbreak in 2 main stages in 1974 and 1985.
You can hear the roar of the wind in the outer/taller trees to the north. The wind is from the northeast and the windbreak doesn't have a much protection from that direction.
Our old farm house built at 2 different times - first part in the 1870s and the last part in the 1880s had no insulation - like most old farm houses.
Unless you lived in one of those old farm houses decades ago, you have no idea what a cold house is like.


12:12 PM January 12, 2024


Red circle shows a squirrel nest - over the years I've only seen these nests get knocked down during extreme ice storms.


1:54 PM January 9, 2024


A different row of American Arborvitae


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