Freezing Rain A Problem For Iowa Drivers

By: Rusty Lord, The Associated Press Email
By: Rusty Lord, The Associated Press Email

A fast-moving storm system brought rain to the metro Sunday morning, but was all ice and snow for parts of Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois.

The metro was spared from an icy winter mess, receiving between 0.10" and 0.20" of rain before the system moved east. As this system overran some colder air across central and eastern Iowa and southern Minnesota, it produced freezing rain. Many reports of 0.10" to 0.30" of ice covering roads, trees and power lines were received by Sunday afternoon.

Farther northeast, the system was producing snow on top of an already fallen layer of freezing rain in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Large portions of Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois and Wisconsin were under freezing rain advisories and winter storm warnings earlier in the day.

The Iowa Department of Transportation said conditions were starting to improve after the storm system left the state Sunday afternoon, but roads may remain slippery overnight.

A section of northbound Interstate 35 between Des Moines and Mason City was closed for several hours because a semi blocked the roadway. Butler County was one of the hardest-hit areas after receiving over half an inch of precipitation that froze quickly after hitting the ground.

In Des Moines, the city put down 500 tons of salt, hoping that would keep the main streets from icing over. The side streets were a different story. One woman was a little late to church after getting a call from a friend whose car was stuck. "We had a nice gentleman come out with some salt because she had sand and that wasn't working. So his salt, them pushing, me driving, we got her out finally.”

Areas of dense fog, mist and frost may form overnight and precipitation may refreeze on roadways, especially across northern Iowa. The latest information about road conditions is available online at or by calling 511 in Iowa.

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