Dubuque's hills present winter protections and problems - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque's hills present winter protections and problems

Dubuque's bluffs can shield roads from blowing snow Dubuque's bluffs can shield roads from blowing snow

The Dubuque Police Department responded to 16 crashes during the snowy period between midnight and 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Snow fell consistently in Dubuque until just after 3 p.m.

Driving conditions in the city were better Tuesday than they were during last week's storm. Police said they responded to fewer accidents throughout the day and roads were relatively clear.

The hills of Dubuque, however, play a role in all of this.

Patty Callahan lives atop the bluffs, with steep roads leading up to her house in both directions.

On snowy days, "You can get out of here, but sometimes it's hard to get back," she said, shoveling her sidewalk Tuesday afternoon.

Living on top of the bluff, there is little to buffer the elements.

When it comes to shoveling, she has learned to, "Bundle up and stay ahead of it," she said, "because once it starts drifting, you have to do it all over again."

Later in the day, while driving the city streets, Dubuque police officer Brooke Huberty commented on the bluffs' ability to keep roads clear.

"It seems that with the hills and the buildings, the blowing snow doesn't have quite an impact because you have so much blocking everything from that being a problem on the roadways," she said.

Where there's nothing blocking the wind and snow, however, roads can get slick. Huberty mentioned the Northwest Arterial as a roadway that experiences a lot of snowdrifts.

"Probably the major amount of accidents are just people going slow enough, but they can't stop in time before, you know, they're hitting the back of a vehicle in front of them," Huberty said.

Just minutes after those comments, her radio crackled to life with word of a three-car accident.

"They're advising it's going to be on JFK," the dispatcher chirped over the radio.

Upon arrival at the scene, Huberty spoke with the drivers of each of the three cars and corroborated their stories.

"She said, basically, they were coming down around the corner and slid, hitting you, and then you kind of spun out there," she clarified with one of the drivers.

Huberty ultimately cited just one of the drivers, Craig Nadermann, with failure to maintain control of his vehicle. In the City of Dubuque, that carries a fine of $195.

Nadermann explained his loss of control, saying he was, "coming around the corner up there, I just came around. Fish-tailed, yeah."

Fortunately, nobody in the accident was injured, but the aftermath, between car damage, towing, insurance increases and citations, can be costly.

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