Forty Iowa National Guard soldiers remain on active duty, helping the D.O.T. and the highway patrol as the blizzard conditions continue. Guard units went out in convoys to rescue stranded motorists overnight and through the morning. Major Mike Wunn says the soldiers are standing by throughout the day at Sloan, Avoca, Camp Dodge, and other locations.
Wunn says the Boone unit’s in Ames is at the D.O.T. garage. In Cedar Rapids there’s a team at Kirkwood Community College, there’s a team at Coralville, and then down at Fairfield there’s a unit to assist the D.O.T. down in that area. Wunn says the army’s Hummers are very effective for traveling in heavy snow. The guard has also stocked cots and blankets at a number of locations in the event that any Iowa communities open up warming shelters.
“I think in this case most of those things have been taken care of by the local communities and that hasn’t been an issue, but we do have blankets and cots staged at various locations that would be available to help out,” Wunn says. In all the guard dispatched four rescue teams in Hummers to reach cars stranded in the snow in central and western Iowa.