There were brutally cold temperatures overnight in Iowa. Blizzard and Winter Storm Warnings from the National Weather will expire at 6 a.m. Saturday. Travel conditions remain difficult, if not impossible in much of Iowa as strong winds cause whiteout conditions.

Craig Bargfrede, the Iowa DOT’s winter operations administrator, says more than a third of Iowa counties have issued towing bans, “so if folks are out traveling right now and they do get stranded…we may be able to get emergency help out to them, but as far as getting their vehicle out of the ditch or wherever it’s stuck, that’s probably not going to happen,”

In addition to blowing snow, icy conditions are causing wrecks. Bargfrede says it’s too cold to treat the roads with salt.

“We’re just basically resorting now to using a sand-salt mixture,” Bargfrede says, “just to get some material out there and provide some friction, traction to the vehicles as they’re traveling.”

Bargfrede says it will be a few more days before temperatures warm up enough for salt to be effective in treating ice. Crews at Iowa airports have been de-icing planes, but cancellations and significant delays in departure times were common.

(Additional reporting by Kendall Crawford, Iowa Public Radio)

Radio Iowa