Iowa authorities warn drivers of black ice
DES MOINES — Officials warned drivers in western Iowa to slow down Thursday after responding to numerous reports of cars sliding off the road because of black ice lingering from a major snowstorm.
The icy road conditions can be attributed to cold weather that’s keeping salt and sand from working against the ice.
The Iowa State Patrol said black ice remains on many roadways, and some of it appears clear to unsuspecting drivers. It’s led to several reports of single-vehicle crashes. Towing has been restricted along Interstate 29 from Missouri Valley to Sioux City, and several more crashes have been reported along Interstate 80.
Officials in other parts of the state say cold weather has made it difficult for workers to remove black ice. Workers in Waterloo are putting sand down but it’s still difficult to cut the ice, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported.
Brian Heath, operations manager for Cedar Falls public works, said crews are concentrating on arterial streets and areas where snow has drifted back.
In Des Moines, officials are asking for patience. Materials for de-icing work best above 20 degrees, the Des Moines Register reported.
“As far as the conditions now, we’re just asking residents of Des Moines to bear with us,” said Chuck Burrell, Des Moines Public Works spokesman. “We’re working around the clock to get the problem resolved.”
A major snowstorm last week dumped more than a foot of snow in some parts of Iowa. Low temperatures with frigid wind chills have persisted since then.
It’s unclear what kind of impact a few inches of snow will have on recovery efforts. The National Weather Service predicted between 2 and 4 inches of snow in the state between Thursday night and Friday. Northwest Iowa could get the heaviest amounts, and patchy freezing drizzle is expected in southern Iowa.
Weather officials said cool and dry conditions are expected for Saturday.