Snow plow operators around the state might not be spending a lot of time with family this Christmas. A Winter Storm Watch covers most of the state Wednesday through Friday. Iowa Department of Transportation Winter Operations Administrator Dennis Burkheimer says his agency has 900 trucks and all of their drivers could be working – despite the holiday.
“That kind of goes with the job and they anticipate those types of things happen. We don’t shut down just because it’s a holiday,” Burkheimer said. “They’ll have to work through the holiday period…our guys will be out there taking care of the roads.” The heaviest snowfall is expected over northwest Iowa, with a foot or more possible Wednesday through Thursday. North-central and northeast Iowa can expect 2 to 6 inches of snow, while central and southwestern Iowa will receive freezing rain, sleet and light snow.
“It’s going to be a mixed bag as far as the type of precipitation we get,” Burkheimer said. “Then, it looks like going to follow up with some pretty strong winds and top it all off with some cold temperatures over the weekend. So, all of those combine to make it a tough clean-up and a tough few days that we’ll have to be working.” Iowa D.O.T. snow plow operators have more than 172,000 pounds of salt mix at their disposal.
During the early stages of the winter storm, Burkheimer believes D.O.T. crews can defend roads from freezing over by applying plenty of salt. State public safety officials are encouraging Iowans, if they can, to travel to their destinations today.
Weather forecast: www.weather.gov
Road conditions: www.511ia.org