Highway 9 near Saratoga. (DOT camera)

Thousand of homes and businesses are without power today (Tuesday) as the winter storm moves across the state.
Council Bluffs and Des Moines are the hardest hit by the outages. Out on the roadways, Sergeant Alex Dinkla, of the Iowa State Patrol says driving conditions have been getting worse.

“Much of the roads over western, northern, and northwestern Iowa, we’re starting to see those road conditions deteriorate very rapidly,” Dinkla says. He says conditions change as the temperature drops. “The roads that you’re going to think are clear and wet, are actually turning to ice very quickly. So, we can’t stress enough to slow down have patience — and just allow a little extra time for your commute home or to the office, whichever it may be this afternoon,” he says.

Dinkla says the changing conditions can fool drivers.”Many people may think that they can drive what the posted speed limits are for whatever roadway they may be on, when they do not see the active white snow piling up in front of them. But they are very serious road conditions as it traverses from the dry pavement into wet — and then what we call the black ice,” according to Dinkla.

He says the black ice can suddenly put you in a spin. “That is very dangerous as you’re probably not going to be able to stop in time to avoid a collision or going down in the ditch,” he says. Dinka says much of what they’ve been seeing already is a lot of vehicles that are just sliding right off into the median or down into the ditch.

Radio Iowa