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A Snow Day, in May

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PARKSERBURG, Iowa - Thursday was a snow day for students in Aplington-Parkersburg school district.

And calling off classes due to snow is a decision superintendent Jon Thompson said no one remembers making before in the month of May. Ever. But at least a half dozen school districts saw enough of the white stuff to either call off classes altogether or send students home early. In Parkersburg, the decision was quitting four hours early.

"I've gone out of my way to talk to experienced administrators in the area even my father who's a retired superintendent and they never did this. May is unusual," Thompson said.

There were signs that spring was just here. In one Butler County farm field, a tractor and planter sat waiting looking slightly out of place in the snow.

In Ackley in Franklin County, city workers were out pushing wet, slushy snow off streets and residents were shoveling driveways.

One business owner, Deb King, said it was like "you expected to see Santa Claus walk down the street at any moment." But she added, "it's May, hopefully the snow will be gone fast."

In towns with measurable snowfall, one guessing game was trying to figure out the last time it snowed so much, so late. Long time residents in Ackley thought the answer was Memorial Day in 1947.

Department of Transportation plow driver Jerry Harms, from Iowa Falls, certainly wasn't pushing a snow off the roads then. But he said he had done it long enough to know this snowfall was really unusual.

"I'm an Iowa boy and you can expect almost anything in Iowa. But a May snow. That's a first for me but I'm not 100 percent surprised either," Harms said.

As for the students in Aplington and Parkersburg there was a double dose of good news. They got out of school early and won't have to make up a snow day before the end of the year either. They were in class long enough on Thursday to count it as a full day.

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