The forecast of blizzard conditions in parts of the state today prompted many legislators to head home last night. Senator David Johnson of Ocheyedan was among them.
“Concerned about how road conditions might be when you live probably closer to International Falls than you do to Des Moines,” Johnson says.
Johnson was stranded overnight in a pick-up during a blizzard in 1997.
“I ended up in a ditch, tried digging myself out twice and was soaking wet and knew better than to try to walk to the nearest farmhouse — which was about three-quarters of a mile away — in blizzard conditions,” Johnson says. “I was rescued the next morning after sunrise by a couple of high school students who got into a tractor and decided to go into town to see how bad it was.”
Johnson’s pick-up had two fuel tanks, so he was able to start the engine periodically, run the heater and keep himself warm until that help arrived.
There are no events scheduled in the Iowa House today and most House members are out of Des Moines. Four committees in the Senate are scheduled to meet and Democrats say there’ll be enough Democrats who’ve stayed in Des Moines so committee work can be done.