Snow covers much of Iowa; more predicted for weekend
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- About 4½ inches of snow blanketed parts of the state Thursday, prompting treacherous conditions for motorists trudging through freshly covered roads and heavy snowfall.
Snow began falling in western Iowa early in the morning and continued falling in central and eastern Iowa into the evening. Several traffic accidents occurred, with dozens of vehicles sliding into ditches across the state but no major injuries reported as of Thursday night.
"It was kind of a white-knuckle drive on the way to work today," said Steve Teachout, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Des Moines.
Teachout said southern and central Iowa received most of the snowfall, with Manning and Bussey each receiving about 4½ inches. Northern Iowa received significantly less, with Waterloo recording 1½ inches.
Eastern Iowa was still receiving flurries in the early evening but most of the system was expected to leave the state by the overnight, Teachout said.
State transportation crews were busy clearing roads and responding to traffic issues for much of the day, said Dena
Fisher, spokeswoman for the Iowa Department of Transportation.
She said crews were expected to remain active throughout Thursday night, with the focus shifting toward eastern Iowa as the snowfall headed toward the Mississippi River.
She said the weather had caused at least a few traffic accidents, including some involving semis in Denison and the Missouri Valley area.
A three-car collision in the afternoon prompted crews to shut down Interstate 80 east of Newton. Gray-Fisher said she did not know if anyone was seriously injured or when I-80 would reopen.
Temperatures in several parts of the state were well below the average, Teachout said. Des Moines, for example, had a high of 26 degrees, 10 degrees below normal for this time of year, he said.
Iowans will get a break from the snow on Friday, but will likely need the snow shovels again Saturday with more precipitation expected across much of the state, Teachout said. Northern Iowa will get up to 4 inches.