Drifting snow closes rural roads - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Drifting snow closes rural roads

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by John Wilmer

Black Hawk County (KWWL) – Roads across the state continue to be treacherous. The Iowa Department of Transportation's website shows that highways and interstates in eastern Iowa range from normal to where travel is still not advised, but some of the most dangerous are in rural areas.

With nothing to break the wind there is little stop the snow from creating huge drifts which catches those traveling gravel roads by surprise.

Black Hawk County uses graters on its gravel roads to bust through the snow drifts.

Dean Nicholson has been an equipment operator for more than 30 years and he says Wednesday's storm could have been worse.

"We're really lucky that we didn't have any snow on the ground when it hit. A lot of fields, the ditches weren't full yet so the ditches took some of it first, but it rates right up there with some of the worst," said Nicholson

The storm wreaked havoc across the rural landscape, Nicholson was only able to clear about eight miles before being pulled off because of poor visibility.

"I would say 70 percent of them are blocked. I've come across five foot drifts all away across the road for 50 or 60 feet. Some of the roads are open because they've blown clean," said Nicholson.

As of Thursday afternoon crews have most of the rural roads open to at least one lane, some operators have even begun widening the gravel roads to two lanes.

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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