AMES, Iowa – Dec. 21, 2012; 12:45 p.m. update – The Iowa Department of Transportation is reporting that road crews are out actively clearing remaining road blockages, blading off packed snow and ice, and widening areas where travel was restricted to one lane or narrow lane areas. Drivers are urged to take appropriate actions as described below.
Heavy-duty snow blowers and other equipment are being moved into areas where there are large drifts blocking the road. The Iowa DOT is also working with state and local law enforcement agencies, and towing companies to remove vehicles that are stuck in drifts or blocking the roadways.
Recovery work is being hampered by the hard snow/ice pack caused by the rain/snow mix of precipitation, vehicle travel on covered roadways, and at times the ineffectiveness of salt due to the drop in temperatures. The sun today will help loosen some of the snow pack and aid blading operations.
Until the snow pack is removed, travelers may encounter areas where there are clear patches of road and then snowy or icy patches. Drivers should adjust their winter driving skills accordingly by reducing speeds for conditions and adding more space between their vehicle and the ones ahead and around them.
It is imperative that persons traveling on the interstate or higher speed four-lane roadways make appropriate adjustments as the severity of a crash at higher speeds is greater, and the risk of involving other vehicles in an incident is more likely. Do not use cruise control under these conditions.
All travelers should also be aware that it is difficult for semi-tractor-trailer units to climb roadway inclines in some areas due to the icy road conditions. This means everyone sharing the road must exercise patience and be prepared to slow down when there are trucks ahead.
The Iowa DOT expects road conditions to continue to improve throughout the day, but it will be a very gradual process. Please exercise additional caution so everyone can make it to their holiday destination safely.
Media access only: Call 515-233-7960 until 10 p.m. today.