First winter storm slows travel, business in Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

First winter storm slows travel, business in Iowa

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) - Things were slowing down - way down - for Eastern Iowa travelers and businesses Tuesday evening.

Iowa City streets were packed with snow and slush, with little traffic to speak of. Interstate 80 was also covered, with most vehicles traveling at speeds of 30 to 40 miles per hour. The night shift supervisor at a local BP gas station had only seen a handful of customers since the end-of-day work commute.

"I've been here five years," said Bradford Harris, "and I've seen a lot of people in a lot of wrecked cars, so it's really nice to see people heeding the warnings tonight."

Another nearby gas station was also quiet, but we managed to find a couple drivers who had been braving the roads, like Matt Mapel of North Liberty. "It's pretty lonely out there, but it's not too bad, so that makes it nice and easy," said Mapel.

Bryan Corbin left his hometown of Oskaloosa at 4 o'clock Tuesday morning, and didn't arrive in Iowa City until a few hours later. "It was all snow-covered and icy. It took me about three and a half hours to get to Iowa City this morning, and it was just a mess."

But for some people, the storm is a welcome sign of winter fun. We found University of Iowa student Brian Piazza and his friends tackling a sledding hill near downtown. "It's been pretty brutal, but we're battling the weather," Piazza said with a smile. "We're enjoying the snow, but everyone else is inside."

They wonder if it will be enough to cancel a few of their Wednesday classes, which wouldn't be such a bad thing.

Travel was still not advised by the Department of Transportation, as of about 10 PM Tuesday.

For up-to-date travel conditions, you can call the state travel hotline by dialing 5-1-1.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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