First October snowfall since 1980 leaves thousands without power, others stranded

Lights out. No green, yellow, or red. The Checker’s drive thru in East Moline was also dark.

“It’s been a pretty slow day. We lost power around 11:30, noon,” said Stacie Vandyke, Shift Supervisor at Checker’s.

At the peak of the outage, more than 4,000 MidAmerican customers were in the dark. Camanche, Iowa and East Moline, Illinois were hit the hardest. East Moline Schools dismissed students at the Blackhawk Area Education Center because of the outage.

MidAmerican Energy says 100 different incidents of trees hitting or downing power lines caused the outages.

And then there was thick, dense fog.

White snowflakes were visible, but not much else. The Moline Fire Department rescued two men aboard the Marsh Barge when their sailboat was stranded on a lateral dam on the Mississippi.

“We just couldn’t see anything,” said Conner Morton.

The visibility was so poor, the boaters—traveling from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico—needed a flare to help rescuers find them.

Check out photos from the October snow – click here.

As for snow blowers, they weren’t quite flying off the shelves at Trevor Hardware store in Moline because of this snowfall, but they have been selling.

“Oh, yeah, usually the customers that come in the beginning of the season are the ones that waited to ’til it snowed,” said Lisa Trevor.

The hardware store is partnering with the Toro brand, offering free snow blowers to customers if it snows less than 10% of the season’s average.  Click here to find out what the average is in your area.

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