Traffic is still at a standstill due to the blizzard, stranding travelers across wide regions of the state. In Atlantic, where 14-inches of snow was whipped around by strong winds, three emergency shelters were set up for the would-be motorists. Carole Schuler is the volunteer coordinator for the Nishna Valley Family YMCA in Atlantic. She says emergency vehicles were bringing in anywhere from two to 20 people at a time to the shelter.
Schuler says they have 130 people there and another 20 at the family crisis center while others were taken to the hospital. She says local grocery stores have provided food and the community has pulled together to make the "guests" as comfortable as possible. She says the visitors appreciate the hospitality, but they’re ready to go home.
Schuler says they’ve all been told it may be this afternoon, or later, before the roads are reopened and everyone’s allowed to leave. She says they’re all waiting and watchful and more or less standing around. She says while some of the motorists were going from Des Moines to Omaha when they became stranded, others were crossing the country. She says some folks in the shelter are from Puerto Rico, New York, South Dakota, Oregon and California — people who were trying to get someplace else via the interstate and simply got stuck.
Interstate 80 and 29 in western Iowa are still closed and travel is not recommend on most other roadways. Snow drifts of up to six-feet deep are blocking many rural roads, and vehicles litter the major throughfares, along with the ditches and medians. A Blizzard Warning remains in effect until six P.M. for most of west-central Iowa, while a Blowing Snow Advisory is in effect until six P.M. for the extreme southwest part of the state and much of eastern Iowa.