Iced in

Poor weather leads to more family time

While irritating and even dangerous, ice storms can produce beautiful scenery. After freezing rain made its way through the area, trees, houses, cars, sidewalks, roads and bushes were layered with ice.

Families across the state awoke to a frozen world outside their door Monday morning, with many schools cancelled and businesses closed due to the weather and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The perhaps, unexpected, three-day weekend meant both children and parents had the opportunity to spend quality time together.

“We’ve got a fire going, we’ve got one kid playing indoor basketball and the little one has been snuggling up to me,” said Garwin mom Sarah Mattingly as she spend the morning with her children. She said her high school-aged daughter was also enjoying the day off with family.

On days like Monday, Mattingly said the family “just hang(s) out” and enjoys the time together.

A similar picture was painted by other central Iowans whose cars, houses, trees, sidewalks and driveways were coated in ice.

“We have had a productive morning and had some deep cleaning done, and finally put away our Christmas tree,” said Maria Gonzalez of Marshalltown. “Looks like it’s going to be a day of ‘Frozen,’ ‘Paw Patrol’ and whatever we can find on Netflix.”

Additionally, she said the family, including their two children, decided on waffles for lunch. She said everyone enjoyed “some quality time with each other.”

Franklin Elementary first-grade teacher Teri Hungerford said she and her kids were also enjoying the day off at their home in rural Marshall County.

“It’s a day to relax,” Hungerford said. “We just kind of cuddle up.”

She said common activities on such days include games of Sorry! and Apples to Apples, watching movies and generally taking it easy.

Hungerford said many of her students also enjoy surprise days off.

Monday’s icy weather saw the Marshalltown Public Library closed, as well as the cancellation of the Immigrant Allies event Celebrate CommUNITY scheduled there.

The Marshalltown School Board regular meeting, originally scheduled for Monday at 5 p.m., was moved to today at 5 p.m. at the Central Administration Office, 1002 S. 3rd Ave.

Marshalltown City Hall remained open but operated with limited staff Monday due to weather concerns.

The slippery conditions aren’t predicted too long, as the weather system was set to move out of the state last night, according to the National Weather Service in Des Moines. Higher-than-average temperatures are said to be on the way later this week.


Contact Adam Sodders at (641) 753-6611 or