The governor has declared a state of emergency for four western Iowa counties to allow the Department of Transportation crews to relieve weary local snow plowing crews. D.O.T. spokesperson, Dena Gray-Fisher, says they will help with snow removal in Shelby, Crawford, Harrison and Pottawattamie counties
Gray-Fisher says they’re are problems with the remnants of the Christmas holiday storm, as a number of the county roads are still unpassable. She says the governor issued the disaster proclamation to allow the D.O.T. to assist the counties. Gray-Fisher says massive drifts have been a problem for local crews.
She says 75% of the roads in Pottawattamie County for example were still unpassable as of this morning, and she says the D.O.T. crews should be able to make some progress clearing the snow. Gray-Fisher says they are bringing in various types of equipment to cut through the snowdrifts.
Gray-Fisher says they have snowplow trucks and some large snow blowers that can cut through the drifts, along with motor vehicle enforcement officers that can help direct traffic while the snow removal is underway. Gray-Fisher says the bigger equipment will help move things along, but it will still take a little time to get things cleared out.
She says it will probably take a few days since there are four counties and there are a lot of miles of roads in the county system. Gray-Fisher says it’s important to get the roads open to avoid any problems for the people living in the four counties.
“We do have a lot of individuals who could potentially need emergency assistance and with those roads blocked, we cannot get fire trucks or other kinds of rescue crews into those residences,” Gray-Fisher. More snow is forecast for Wednesday, but Gray-Fisher says the forecasts are not calling for large amounts of snow and that should not hamper their efforts to get the roads in the four counties open.