Christmas Travel Warning: Iowa DOT Has Closed a Portion of I-35
In what might be the death nail in many Iowa family Christmas gatherings, the Iowa Department of Transportation (I-DOT) has closed a sizable portion of Interstate 35 tonight (Friday, December 23). It's become too hazardous for snow plows, and therefore is not safe for travel.
In a press release the Iowa DOT shared with this radio station, they say the reason is the danger to plow operators as a result of the high winds and blizzard conditions.
Due to the dangerous conditions, Iowa DOT snowplow operations are being suspended in many areas on Iowa and U.S. Highways in northern Iowa and plows will be returning to local maintenance garages before dark.
The release goes on to say,
The Iowa DOT has been advised that many counties will begin pulling plows from county roads as well.
This means many roads within certain cities/townships will likely be unsafe for travel as well.
The Iowa DOT did not give a timeframe on when plows could return to the interstate saying only that Iowa DOT snowplows will resume plowing operations in areas where plows have been pulled once it is safe to do so.
Prior to making any travel in northeastern or north central Iowa, motorists are encouraged to check Iowa 511 for road conditions. They're also encouraged to make sure they have a full tank of gas and stay with their vehicle if there's an incident.
I-35 is now closed north and south-bound at exit 111 (U.S. 30) in Ames to exit 194 (U.S. 18) at Clear Lake. Southbound I-35 travelers must exit at U.S. 18. Traveler services are being made available at the nearby U.S. 18 exits into Clear Lake and Mason City.
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