Dubuque transformed into dangerous winter wonderland overnight - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque transformed into dangerous winter wonderland overnight


Dubuque saw a nice, soft, steady snowfall starting at 6:30 Wednesday evening and intensifying through the night.

Just before 8:30 p.m., Amanda and Eric Bowman, a couple from Seattle, Wash. stopped at the Oky Doky on First Street in Dubuque with their four-year-old Pomeranian dog Lilly.

"She's had a long day already," traveler Amanda Bowman said.

The family flew into Chicago from Seattle Wednesday afternoon and received bad news.

"Well, our flight was canceled to Sioux City out of Chicago, and we just learned that as we flew in there at two o'clock today, so tried to get a different flight but they're all canceled, so we rented a car and we're driving up to Sioux City," Amanda Bowman said.

From one border of Iowa to the other in blizzard conditions is something no traveler wants, but heading into the storm is just another night on the job for city of Dubuque snowplow driver Pat DeHeck.

"Every once in awhile we get easy winters but then we get paid back like the one when we had with 78, 83 inches, whatever the heck it was. Worked about two months straight, 12 hour days, seven days a week," DeHeck said, driving his plow through the snowy streets around 11 p.m. Wednesday. "People needed to get around, and that's what we do: make it so they can get around."

The city of Dubuque had 19 snow-removal vehicles on the streets overnight and added more as the morning went on. Main roads got top priority, meaning most residential roads went un-plowed.

"Everything I'm going on is going to be a main," DeHeck said, driving his plow around Wednesday night.

Dubuque became a winter wonderland overnight, with white-flocked trees and front yards filled with snow, but one thing was certain-- it wasn't going to be so wonderful for commuters.

The snow let up for awhile around 5:30 a.m. but picked back up later in the morning. By noon, road conditions were deteriorating, especially in Dubuque County.

County engineer Bret Wilkinson said his fleet of 29 snow-removal vehicles hit county roads around 5 a.m. By 2:30 p.m., he was making calls and spreading the word that road conditions were quickly going from bad to worse. He recommends anybody who lives in the county get home as soon as possible and stay there.

City and county snowplows continue to clear roads around the clock, but until snow stops falling and blowing, the job is an unending one.

For more details on Dubuque's snow removal plan and any odd/even parking restrictions, click HERE for the latest on the city's web site.

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