KIMT News 3 – Ice and slush continue to cover many roads in our area, including I-35, which closed down during the peak of the major winter storm that froze north Iowa and Southern Minnesota this week.
Truck stops and rest areas have been full all day with folks dreading their drives on the slick roadways, switching drivers, and regrouping.
Even though the Iowa and Minnesota Department of Transportation (DOT) crews were hard at work all day, it still didn’t put all drivers at ease when it came to the slick surfaces.
“We pulled over a few times and slept it out through last night,” said truck driver Jason Pettis.
Pettis was en route to northern Minnesota and has already been on the road doubled the time he expected.
“It’s hard on the truck you know the ice on the roads feeds the trucks up and costs time,” Pettis said.
Saving time is the goal of the Iowa and Minnesota DOT 511 apps for smartphones and tablets.
Both applications offer an interactive and updated map of the region, complete with accidents, closures and road conditions.
Chris Sturz made a quick pit stop in Clear Lake before braving what to come northbound on I-35.
He said that applications like this and “the miracles of the Internet”, he has been able to stay up to date on road conditions according to the DOT as well as the state patrol.
However, applications are not the only helpful tool to stay informed when on the road.
“I’ve had a couple of friends send me some pictures and it was pretty much ice covered,” Sturz said, “I’m expecting probably 40 miles an hour, at the most.”
Traveling slowly is always the safest approach especially around snow plows, and DOT officials remind motorists that the roads in front of the plows are no doubt worse than the road behind the plow.
Maintaining a safe distance around the plows and being patient will help keep you and other drivers safe.