AMES, Iowa — Road conditions have become extremely hazardous in northern portions of the state, making travel in some areas impossible.
Closure of a portion of I-35 near Ames to Clear Lake
The Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT), in cooperation with the Iowa State Patrol, has closed north-and south-bound Interstate 35 at Exit 111 (U.S. 30) in Ames to Exit 194 (U.S. 18) at Clear Lake.
Anyone headed northbound will see barriers that have been activated at the U.S. 30/I-35N interchange. I-35 travelers must exit at U.S. 30. Traveler services are available at the nearby U.S. 30 exits into Ames.
Barriers have also been activated at the I-35S/U.S.18 interchange. Southbound I-35 travelers must exit at U.S. 18. Traveler services are available at the nearby U.S. 18 exits into Clear Lake and Mason City.
The roadway will remain closed through the overnight hours. Officials will re-evaluate the ability to reopen on the morning of Saturday, Dec. 24, based on conditions at that time.
Plows being pulled in northern Iowa
Due to the dangerous conditions, IDOT snowplow operations are being suspended in many areas in Iowa and U.S. highways in northern Iowa and plows will be returning to local maintenance garages before dark. The Iowa DOT has been advised that many counties will begin pulling plows from county roads as well.
Until plowing operations resume, you should expect conditions to worsen quickly into the afternoon and evening, with many roads becoming impassable. Travel is already not advised in large portions of the area.
At this time, Interstate 29 in Iowa will remain open.
IDOT snowplows will resume plowing operations in areas where plows have been pulled once it is safe to do so.
“You are strongly urged to evaluate the need to travel in extreme conditions,” IDOT officials noted in a news release. “Remember, if you become stranded it could quickly become a life-threatening situation, especially in these extreme temperatures. It may be very difficult, if not impossible, for emergency crews to reach you.”
To monitor road conditions and IDOT snow plow cameras, visit www.511ia.org or on the 511 app.
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