DOT warns of dangerous travel - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

DOT warns of dangerous travel

Ames (KWWL) - High winds and cold temperatures present dangerous travel mix

High winds, with gusts in the mid to upper 30s, and frigid temperatures will present travel problems Wednesday and possibly Thursday. The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) is warning travelers to expect drifting and periods of reduced visibilities in the rural areas, icing over of roadways in the heavily traveled areas, and ground level blowing snow in many parts of the state. 

Road temperatures will continue to decrease throughout the day, along with air temperatures. Road temperatures are already below freezing in some parts of the state and will drop below zero later today. Under these conditions, deicing of roadways with salt will not be effective. Any moisture on the roadways will likely bond to the pavement.

The cold snap is ideal for "wheel-track glazing" of heavily traveled roadways. It is caused by warm tires trapping the ground level blowing snow. As more vehicles travel over the same wheel tracks a glaze of ice forms, which becomes very slippery.

Travelers are advised to remain alert to glazing conditions. Semi tractor-trailers traveling empty should take special precautions to avoid jackknifing. In addition to the other risks of becoming involved in an accident, the below zero wind chills will compound the danger.  

The Iowa DOT's top three travel tips include the following.

  • All passengers should be properly belted and children in safety seats.
  • Bring your winter survival kit, with enough supplies for all travelers in the vehicle.
  • If stranded, remain with your vehicle until help arrives. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO WALK FOR HELP. Use your cell phone to call 911 for assistance.

The Iowa DOT will be monitoring road conditions and issuing additional alerts, as warranted. For the latest road conditions, visit on the Internet or call 511 (for outside the state or in bordering communities, call 800-288-1047).


Online Producer: Maria Magner

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