UPDATE: Snow continued to fall on Eastern Iowa Friday morning as crews worked to clear area roads.
As of 8 a.m., the Iowa State Patrol reported that most roads in Eastern Iowa are either mostly covered or completely covered by snow.
Iowa Department of Transportation snowplow drivers in Cedar Rapids received the order to start their engines as the flakes started falling, at around 6 p.m. Thursday. “We’ll get our sand loaded up, we’ll go out and everybody has their own routes to take care of,” said IDOT snowplow driver Greg Callanan.
Street crews with the City of Cedar Rapids have been working to keep roads clear throughout the night. They said they’d have dozens working during the early morning hours in hopes of preventing accidents during the morning drive.
According to the city, crews have cleared the main roads and are now working to clear side streets.
Many area school districts have either delayed or canceled classes Friday. Here’s the latest list.
The left behind varying amounts of snow and ice across the Midwest, but those areas affected were united by one thing Friday morning: difficult travel conditions.
Powerful wind gusts created large snow drifts on many roadways, making navigating the slick conditions a challenge. Accidents and slide-offs were reported from Kansas to Michigan as the storm pushed east Friday.
Strong gusts off Lake Michigan caused problems for commuters in eastern Wisconsin. Chicago’s more than 280 snowplows salted and cleared the city’s streets, while commuters slogged through slush to get to their offices.
But in some locations, the storm didn’t live up to the hype. At the Pilot Flying J station near Interstate 29 in southwest Iowa, shift manager Kelly Malone said Friday his company had taken precautions by reserving seven rooms for employees at the nearby Super 8 Motel.
“We were prepared for the worst, but it didn’t happen that bad. To me it was just an average storm, but I’m a person who drives through anything,” he said. Iowa’s snow totals topped out at 9.7 inches near Sioux City.