Iowa road closure 7:15 p.m. update
AMES, Iowa – According to the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT), high winds and blowing snow are causing hazardous driving conditions and zero visibility in northern Iowa. Travel is not recommended in the northern portion of the state from Iowa 4 in northwest Iowa east to the Wisconsin state line, and points north to the Minnesota state line and south to just south of
In cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Transportation and State Patrol, the Iowa DOT is also alerting travelers that U.S. 63 in Minnesota from Spring Valley to the Iowa state line is closed due to zero visibility and multiple vehicles running off the road. This section of highway will remain closed until further notice. The Minnesota DOT is advising motorists to not travel in southeast Minnesota, unless absolutely necessary.
The Iowa DOT’s road weather information system (www.dotweatherview.com) is reporting 35-47 mph wind gusts and air temperatures below zero in the affected area, resulting in dangerous wind chills. If en route, travelers should seek a safe place to wait out the storm. If you become stranded:
- Do not panic.
- Pull as far off the roadway as safe and possible.
- Remain in your vehicle where rescuers are most likely to find you. Disorientation and hypothermia can occur. You are more likely to be found in your vehicle, and it will provide the best possible shelter. A building may seem close, but be too far to walk to in deep snow.
- If you have a winter survival kit, use supplies conservatively. Drink fluids to avoid dehydration.
- Run the engine and heater about 10 minutes each hour to keep warm, depending on how much fuel you have.
- When the engine is running, open a downwind window slightly for ventilation and periodically clear snow from the exhaust pipe. This will protect you from possible carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Exercise to maintain body heat, but avoid overexertion. In extreme cold, use road maps, seat covers, and floor mats for insulation. Huddle with passengers and use your coat for a blanket.
- Take turns sleeping, if there is more than one person in the vehicle. If you are alone, do not sleep while the engine is running.
- Be careful not to waste battery power. Balance electrical energy needs - the use of lights, heat, and radio - with supply.
- At night, leave your dome light on, only while the vehicle is running, so work crews or rescuers can see you.
- If you have a cellular phone, call 911 for assistance and provide authorities with as much information about your location. Do not run down the battery!
The Iowa DOT will be monitoring conditions and provide further travel advisories, as warranted. Road condition information is available on the Internet by visiting 511ia.org for Iowa and 511mn.org for Minnesota. Dialing 511 when in either state will provide state-specific travel details.