The Iowa Department of Transportation has closed several interstate routes today due to blizzard conditions. The DOT has closed I-29, both directions from Missouri Valley from I-80 to South Dakota/Iowa border in Sioux City area. The DOT and National Guard rescue crews are traveling this route looking for stranded motorists.
Interstate 80 from Council Bluffs to Stuart, in both directions, U.S. 34 from U.S. 59 to Avoca. U.S. 6 from Council Bluffs to U.S. 59. Iinsterstate 35 from Ames to U.S. 30 is closed to the Minnesota border.
National Guard and Iowa DOT emergency rescue crews stationed at the DOT’s maintenance facility in Avoca are traveling the closed portions of I-80 in western Iowa in search of stranded motorists.
Interstate-380 northbound lanes are will be closed from I-80 in Iowa City to U.S. 20 in Waterloo once conditions deteriorate.
Other roads in northern Iowa may also become impassable and visibility will be limited. Blowing and drifting problems will be especially dangerous in the rural areas. Travel is not advised in northern Iowa today.
Travelers should exit at the designated detours and find safe shelter. Others should not attempt to travel in these areas.
Iowa State Trooper Doug Cutts, called Radio Iowa from Jasper County, and says this is a bad day for trying to drive anywhere as crunched cars and trucks are again starting to litter roadsides and medians. Cutts says "Everything over west is starting to shut down. Everything is moving toward central Iowa and to the east and as it comes, everything is just going to get progressively worse."
Cutts says road conditions are becoming more dangerous by the minute in some areas and he recommends folks stay home, if possible. "About the only place that’s good to drive right now would be southeast Iowa. Everything else, if you don’t have to travel, don’t travel. If you have to be out on the roads, use 5-1-1. Call there and see what the road conditions are like where you’re going and if you need to, turn around," Cutts says.
Cutts says if you’re traveling now and find you’re not comfortable with continuing forward or turning back, there are options. He says "Start looking for a motel because motels are going to fill up very fast. We’ve already enacted several tow bans in western Iowa and in the northwest which means cars are going to stay put in the ditches."