Iowa DOT News Release



Icy roads, impeding snow beginning to hamper travel in Iowa

Posted on: January 31, 2011

AMES, Iowa – Jan. 31, 2011 – Travel in many parts of Iowa over the next 48 hours could become treacherous, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT).

Currently, northwest Iowa roads are being reported as completely covered with snow and ice. Light snow and freezing drizzle are expected to spread throughout the state through the evening, making travel hazardous.

After a brief break in the precipitation early tomorrow morning, the next system is poised to build into the state later tomorrow afternoon and evening. By tomorrow afternoon, snow will become likely in the southeast two-thirds of the state, while the northwest will maintain a chance of additional light snow. 

Forecasts call for up to two inches of snow per hour in southeast Iowa with totals of up to two feet of new snow expected through Wednesday. Strong, gusty winds can be expected statewide tomorrow afternoon through Wednesday morning, allowing for widespread drifting and areas of blowing snow with reduced visibility. Significantly reduced visibility is likely in areas with wind and falling snow, which could approach whiteout conditions.

During this winter weather event, travelers are urged to watch the weather carefully. Log on to www.511ia.org or call 511 for current road conditions.

If you must travel, carry a fully-charged cell phone and place a winter survival kit in your vehicle. In the event you are stranded, these items could mean the difference between life and death, especially with temperatures dropping below zero.

The kit should contain a blanket or sleeping bag; high energy, nonperishable food; water; flashlight and extra batteries; matches or a lighter; candles; warm gloves; small first aid kit; hat or stocking cap; insulated footwear; and winter coat. The kit should contain enough supplies for the number of passengers in the vehicle.

Other winter travel supplies should include a snow shovel; scraper and snow brush; sand or strips of carpet for traction; flares/reflectors; tool kit; jumper cables; and a good spare tire, lug wrench and jack.

Drivers should use basic safe driving habits at any time of year – buckling up, driving alert and sober, and operating your vehicle at a safe and legal speed. Special precautions need to be followed when ice or snow are present on the roadway, including reducing your speed for conditions. Do not turn your vehicle into an “off-road” vehicle by driving too fast for conditions. Remember the simple slogan, “Ice and Snow … Take it Slow.”

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Iowa highway in the evening