News Release

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Slick and Snowy Iowa Roads in Tonight’s Forecast #iatraffic

February 26, 2013

AMES, Iowa – Feb. 26, 2013 – 9 p.m. – As snow continues to fall over central and eastern Iowa overnight, Iowa Department of Transportation crews will continue working to maintain the state’s highways, as necessary. Motorists should stay alert for hazardous road conditions.

What to expect this evening and overnight
Areas of blowing and drifting snow will continue across central and eastern Iowa. The National Weather Service is advising that an additional accumulation of 1 to 3 inches of snow in central Iowa and 3 to 5 inches of snow in east central and southeast areas of the state is expected overnight. The snow along with north to northeast winds of 20 to 30 mph, with gusts up to 40 mph, will cause blowing and drifting snow reducing visibilities to less than one-quarter mile at times.

The combination of blowing snow and cold surface temperatures could result in icy roadways due to a phenomenon called wheel-track glazing, which is caused by warm tires trapping the ground-level light or blowing snow. As more vehicles travel over the same wheel tracks a glaze of ice forms, which becomes very slippery.

Safety tips for driving on icy roads, when travel is necessary

  • Focus your attention on the driving task and slow down.
  • Do not use cruise control.
  • Put your mobile phone away so you are not tempted to talk or text while driving.
  • Keep a safe distance from vehicles in adjacent lanes as strong wind gusts could push a vehicle outside its lane of travel.
  • Put a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead in case sudden driving maneuvers are necessary.
  • Take extra care if driving a high-profile vehicle, such as a truck, van or sports utility vehicle, or when towing a trailer, as these vehicles are more prone to be pushed or even flipped by wind gusts.
  • If conditions are severe enough to prevent safe driving, postpone your trip; or if en route, identify the nearest safe place to pull off the roadway, such as a rest area, truck stop, motel or other traveler service until the wind subsides and road conditions improve.

The Iowa DOT continues to urge travelers to provide feedback on Twitter and Facebook. Travelers who are stopped in a safe location are asked to take a moment to share observations and experiences.

  • Geotag photos and video: All smartphones have a global positioning system because of enhanced 911 service. If you are a social media user who likes to share photos and video during winter storms, be sure the geotagging feature on your mobile device is enabled. Then the location of where your photo or video was taken will be tagged.  
  • Follow us: All traffic-related news releases and traffic incident reports are posted on the Iowa DOT’s Twitter accounts. Search for either @iowadot or @statewideia511. 
  • Use the traffic hashtag: The Iowa DOT is using the hashtag #iatraffic during this event and recommends that other Twitter users do the same to find relevant tweets using that key phrase. 
  • Tell us what you are seeing: Your information could be invaluable to others who are considering travel. You can also be another set of eyes for the Iowa DOT. When posting to Twitter, reference @iowadot in your post. Tag us in your posts and photos on Facebook.

The Iowa DOT offers traveler information anytime by visiting www.511ia.org or calling 511 (within Iowa) or 800-288-1047 (nationwide).

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Note: This will be the final news release of the day. Public information via news releases will resume in the morning or if significant changes occur.

 


Iowa highway in the evening