AAA Iowa Reports 144{99cd714f394079a7f0ed2eb1518dd31342ff3ceb5b6c267c3ad8acd5b5a7d66b} Boost in Service Calls From Iowans on Tuesday

As temperatures fall, the number of problems with our vehicles often rises. Cold weather is especially hard on car batteries and when they die, your car is stuck. Many Iowans tried to go back to work on Tuesday morning after a long holiday weekend and discovered their engines wouldn’t turn over. Gail Weinholzer, at AAA Iowa, says the bitter cold snap took a toll.

“We saw a 144{99cd714f394079a7f0ed2eb1518dd31342ff3ceb5b6c267c3ad8acd5b5a7d66b} increase in Iowa for service calls yesterday,” Weinholzer says. “The #1 issue was batteries, followed closely by lockouts and tire issues.” Many Iowans who made it to work without too much trouble went back to the parking lot at the end of the day to find their vehicles were dead in their tracks and they needed a jump — or a new battery entirely.

“Whether they just decided to head back to work and needed to start their car and even those folks who’d gone to work yesterday,” she says, “we had a significant bump in that late afternoon time frame as well.” Cars that were left outside during the holiday weekend were likely covered with snow and had frosty windows. While it’s natural to start the engine, flip on the heater and defroster, then go outside to scrape the windshield, that process can be a recipe for trouble.

Weinholzer says, “The other thing, along with checking your battery, you want to make sure when you warm up your car, you don’t actually lock your keys in it.” Dangerous wind chills are predicted for much of Iowa this Friday night and into Saturday, with indices plummeting into the 20s and 30s below zero.

City Preparations for Winter Weather

Winter weather will happen – ready or not – and it’s never too early to remind everyone “Ice and Snow…..Take it Slow.”

The Oskaloosa Police Department reminds citizens when winter weather conditions become severe with freezing rain, sleet, ice or snow fall which cause difficult travel conditions, the City Manager has the authority to declare a snow emergency within the city. The announcement will be made through the City’s website at www.oskaloosaiowa.org and local media outlets, such as KBOE/KMZN, and will give the date and time the snow emergency begins. Citizens can also sign up to receive e-mail or text alerts when a snow emergency has been declared. Go to the city’s web page and located on the lower left-hand side of the front page is a “Notify Me” button. Fill out the necessary information and an e-mail/text alert will be sent when a snow emergency has been declared. One can also log onto www.kboeradio.com and click on the “Closings” button on the top for all the latest weather delays, closures and emergencies.

When a snow emergency is declared, no on-street parking is allowed. If you leave your vehicle parked on city streets during a snow emergency, you may receive a $25 parking ticket and/or your vehicle could be towed at your expense. Citizens who do not have off-street parking available to them may park their vehicle(s) in the city parking lots within the central business district. Once the street is plowed you should remove your vehicle from the city parking lot so the street department can plow the lots. On-street parking is allowed again
only after the full width of the street has been plowed, or the snow emergency has been cancelled.

The City of Oskaloosa has prepared a brochure for residents which is available on the city website and through City Hall – 220 South Market Street, Public Works – 804 South D Street, or at the Mahaska County Law Center – 214 High Avenue East. The brochure contains frequently asked questions along with important information for citizens. Remember when a snow emergency is declared, no on-street parking is allowed until the full width of the street has been plowed or the snow emergency is cancelled.

Eventually, winter weather will arrive, prepare now and remember “Ice and Snow….Take it Slow”.

Coat Drive To Help Local Iowans In Need

BURR! It’s getting chillier out there. Help share the warmth with those in our community that need it!

The 10th Annual Winter Coat Drive is taking place now until January 31st, 2018.

Collection boxes for the drive will be placed at 18 locations around Oskaloosa. The drive is a great opportunity for community members to clean out their closets and make an impact during the season of giving. Items collected during the Winter Coat Drive are given to people in need at no charge.

Accepted donations include winter coats, snow boots, snow pants, winter hats, gloves/mittens, scarves, and other winter outerwear. Whenever possible, please launder items prior to donation. Organizers stress that the collection boxes for the drive are strictly for donations of winter outerwear.

Donations of other items including sweatshirts, fall jackets, rain coats, ball caps, etc. must be made directly to New Hope Community Center at 308 5th Ave West.

The need for warm winter clothing is a serious one, especially in Iowa. The average winter temperature in Iowa for 2016/17 was 26.5 degrees F. Last year, 300 warm winter coats were distributed to those in need, many of whom would have otherwise gone without.

Winter Coat Drive collection boxes can be found at the following Oskaloosa businesses:

  • Central United Methodist Church
  • Fareway
  • Hawkeye Real Estate
  • Gatton Realty
  • Homestead of Oskaloosa
  • Hy-Vee
  • KBOE/KMZN Radio
  • Mahaska
  • Mahaska County YMCA
  • Mahaska Drug
  • MCG
  • MidWestOne Bank
  • Musco
  • New Hope Community Center
  • Oskaloosa Public Library
  • Remax Pride Realty
  • St. Mary’s Catholic Church
  • First Christian Church
  • United Way of Mahaska County

United Way and New Hope need your help to spread the word and help keep our community warm this winter. Challenge friends and family to clean out their closets and donate winter items they no longer use – every donation helps keep someone safe and warm!

All donated items from the Winter Coat Drive are distributed at New Hope Community Center, at 308 5 th Ave. West. New items arrive each week. For assistance, check with a volunteer, or call New Hope at 641-676-1602.

Volunteers are needed to help with the drive. For more information about this service opportunity, please contact Timothy Gibson at 641-673- 6043, or uwmc.coordinator@gmail.com.

Iowa DOT Facilities Readying Resources for Winter

It’s been sunny and relatively warm with temperatures comfortably sitting in the 60s this past week, but Iowa Department of Transportation employees are busy preparing for winter. Craig Bargfrede is the DOT’s winter operations administrator and he talks about the upcoming plow season for Iowa DOT staff.

“In our world, October 15th is actually the official start of the winter season and that runs through April 15th,” said Bargfrede.

The agency’s 900 plows and other snow-moving equipment are being brought out of storage for tuneups and maintenance.

“Making sure everything is functioning properly on the trucks, plows, blowers – we’re in the process of doing calibration on all of our spreaders to make sure the material is being dispensed properly and accurately across the board,” Bargfrede says.

Over the summer, the Iowa DOT stocked storage facilities with nearly 230-thousand tons of salt to use on roads this winter. Normally, however, the DOT only uses about half of that tonnage annually. Looks like the Iowa DOT is extra prepared for whatever weather this upcoming season has for us. 


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