AMES, Iowa – Dec. 21, 2012: 8 a.m. update – The Iowa Department of Transportation is reporting that travel conditions are slowly beginning to improve in the state. However, many roads remain completely or partially covered with snow and ice pack. Interstate 35 from Ames to Mason City, both north- and southbound, has been reopened.
Travelers are advised to check Iowa's 511 travel information system before making their trip by calling 800-288-1047 nationwide or 511 within Iowa, or visiting http://www.511ia.org. Several additional options for mobile access, text and email, or information through Twitter or Facebook are described on this website.
Primary travel concerns this morning are focused in eastern Iowa. A National Weather Service winter weather advisory remains in effect until 10 a.m. in this area. This affected area includes the counties of Buchanan, Delaware, Dubuque, Benton, Linn, Jones, Jackson, Iowa, Johnson, Cedar, Clinton, Muscatine, Scott, Keokuk, Washington, Louisa, Jefferson, Henry, Des Moines, Van Buren and Lee counties.
Considerable blowing and drifting snow will continue to make travel hazardous in this area until mid morning. Northwest winds will be sustained at 20 to 30 mph, with some gusts near 40 mph. Visibility to one mile or less can be expected in open, rural areas.
Iowa DOT crews are out this morning trying to restore travel to normal winter driving conditions and open blocked roads as quickly as possible. Conditions should continue to improve throughout the day.
Media contact only until 10 p.m. today – 515-233-7960.