Blizzard Warning In Effect: Residents Urged To Stay Indoors – Interstate 35 reopened to north- and south-bound travelers Saturday morning after a 90-mile closure that began Friday, according to Iowa DOT Winter Operations Director Craig Bargfried.
The northbound lanes slowly reopened around 8am on Saturday, with the southbound lanes beginning to reopen around 11am.
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The highway was initially closed from US 30 near Ames to US 18 outside Clear Lake — a distance of about 90 miles — due to traffic conditions, the Iowa Department of Transportation announced Friday night.
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What will happen with Blizzard in 2022? Although conditions will remain stable for several days, they appear to be moving.
The ongoing blizzard warning for the northern half of the state will expire at 6 a.m., Alexis Jimenez, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Johnston, said. Saturday. A wind advisory period for southern and central Iowa, including Metro Des Moines — which switched to a blizzard warning on Friday — is expected to expire Saturday afternoon.
It’s not clear if the warning or the watch will change warnings and winds, Jimenez said, adding that more analysis is needed.
At this time, the wind is still strong. One gust reached over 57 mph in Mason City on Friday afternoon. Strong winds, near 30 mph, will continue in Iowa Saturday, Jimenez said, “but not like what we saw today.”
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Looking ahead, the snow service says snow will fall on Christmas Eve, with an inch of accumulation, the highs reaching double digits. More snow is expected Monday morning, then a return to cooler temperatures, with a high of 28 on Tuesday.
The Iowa Department of Transportation is closing Interstate 35 in both directions because snow conditions make driving dangerous.
The agency’s Iowa 511 Highway Status website shows the highway closure from US 30 near Ames to US 18 outside Clear Lake.
The closure comes as a snowfall warning remains in place for the region, though it was lifted earlier Friday for many metro Des Moines counties, including Polk and Dallas.
January 2022 North American Blizzard
Travel in Iowa! not this! I-35 SB North of Ankeny. #iawx #iowa #BlizzardTravel_Iowa pic.twitter.com/bwaVjL5lFG — Clarence Smith (@clarencewlsmith) December 23, 2022
Many of Iowa’s major bus stops — shelters for storm-weary motorists — are not expected to accommodate travelers this week.
Drivers were as usual at the sprawling service center, said Heather DeBailey, a spokeswoman for the Iowa 80 Truck Terminal located on Interstate 80 in eastern Iowa, referring to itself as the most in the world. But now, everyone was able to continue their journey, despite the weather and road conditions.
The same is true on Interstate 35. She’s seeing a steady stream of customers looking for milk, eggs, butter and other foods, said Amber Jones, store manager at Kwik Star in Story City. But he said traffic to the store has been slow since the storm began on Friday.
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Jones said the station will be open on holidays, which means it’s going to make some drifts to make that happen.
After getting a lot on Iowa roads and runways, sub-zero temperatures have caused chaos in a downtown Des Moines office. Building management on Friday told Capital Square tenants, including the Des Moines Register, that water pipes on both sides of the building had burst due to the cold weather. He said he is working on repairs with the city and contractors.
The building on the west side of Cowles Commons is known for its large atrium, which has hosted banquets and other events. At 486,755 square feet, Capital Square is the third largest multi-tenanted office building in the Central Business District, behind 801 Grand and Rowan Center.
The Clive Police Department joined a number of law enforcement agencies in urging drivers to stay off the roads after one of their patrol cars was cut off in what the department called an Interstate 35/80 Facebook ad an “ice rink.” The post said the driver of the car that hit the speeding police car was due to a slippery condition.
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“Our best advice is to stay home, enjoy the sun and have a hot cup of coffee while watching your favorite streaming service,” the post reads.
In common measure during prolonged low temperatures, Gov. Kim Reynolds in a statement to ease restrictions on the import and entry of heating fuel. Effective January 1, the proclamation repeals provisions of Iowa law regarding hours of service for crews and drivers transporting propane, diesel, natural gas, and other fuels used to heat homes, agriculture, and businesses throughout the winter period. .
When he woke up Friday morning, he saw 10 flights departing and eight arriving flights cancelled, said Kevin Foley, director of operations at Des Moines International Airport. But since then, he said, there are no more cancellations.
“We have cancellations,” Foley said. “People should check the website and the airline’s website if they want to know if their flight has been delayed or cancelled.” “It clearly poses a risk to flight operations.”
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Foley also admitted that plows still clear wind tracks. “But the two runways are open and the airport … is operating at full capacity,” he said.
“The country is expected to improve,” he said. “I think we will go up to 14 degrees tomorrow and the winds are expected to subside.”
“We have warm garages,” he said. “If you’re in a remote area, we don’t want people standing outside.”
While the National Weather Service’s decision to lower its snow warning level for parts of Iowa is good news, Iowa State Patrol spokesman Sgt. Alex Dincla said, on Friday, that the administrative conditions in the country are still false.
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The entire northern third of Iowa is “unclaimed” with some roads marked as “impassable.” “We continue to see bans in our state,” Dincla said. “The Iowa State Patrol continues to urge drivers to stay off the roads as much as possible.” possible. Tomorrow, the weather will start to improve and the roads will be safer to travel.”
The latest numbers provided by Dinkla show how the hurricane is affecting holiday travel. From noon Wednesday until 5 am Friday, the Army received 788 calls to duty and investigated 235 incidents, including 21 injuries. There is no death. The troops also assisted 553 motorists.
Des Moines Police spokesperson Sgt. Paul Parizek advises drivers to keep paying attention, despite the good conditions.
“We are all happy to see the weather improving, but high winds and low temperatures can create dangerous driving conditions,” Parizek said. “Driving too fast for the conditions was a major factor in most of the 92 incidents DMPD responded to yesterday. Slow down, give each other a break.”
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“We will continue to encourage passengers to delay their flight if they can,” said Andrea Henry, a spokeswoman for the airline. “There are many roads north of the metro ‘not recommended for travel’, many of which are covered…” If travelers want to travel, we ask them to confirm. They slow down, drive in stops, fasten seat belts and, of course, remove distractions.”
In a hopeful sign, the National Weather Service on Friday lowered the blizzard warning level for some Iowa counties, including much of the Des Moines metro area, even as a wind and winter warning remains in effect. Elsewhere in Iowa, it downgraded its snow warning level to a winter storm warning. However, most of the northern half of the state is subject to a fair amount of snow.
The change marks a reversal from an earlier forecast, when the weather service said conditions could worsen through Friday. In his prophetic discussion, it was said that the change was due to the improvement of knowledge. Snow continues to cut visibility to a mile or less in the snow alert area, but in southwest counties, the meteorological service said, “visibility remained at 8 miles or more.”
“As a result of this update, the southwest counties have changed from a warm weather storm and winter warning to a winter warning and wind warning,” the business service said.
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It is also said that on Saturday morning the “center of the storm” will turn far to the east and winds will drop to 30 mph in that direction, and will be stable and less blowing overall. And when this happens, the winter storm warning and advisory will end, and a wind warning will take their place.”
Wind chills rise above a minimum of 30 — it was a minimum of 39 Friday in Des Moines, with winds of 32 mph and gusts of 44 mph.
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