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Travel remains dangerous as strong winds, blowing snow continue – KCRG

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) – Dangerous travel conditions will continue to be found across the state through Friday night into early Saturday morning.
Road conditions have shown deterioration throughout Friday as winds picked up this afternoon. Wide swaths of the state have seen reduced visibility due to the wind and resultant blowing snow. Snow blowing over and onto roadways has caused patches of black ice, as well as incidents of drifting snow covering lanes of travel as well.
Importantly, many areas have begun to pull snowplows off of highways and secondary roads due to the dangerous conditions. Most state and federal highways north of U.S. Highway 20 will likely not see any Iowa DOT plows for the rest of Friday night.
All of the following factors will combine to make traveling dangerous, especially in rural areas. Please avoid setting out in your vehicle on Friday night unless it’s a very specific emergency. If you must, make sure to take along a winter survival kit (see below). If you get stranded in your vehicle, stay in it and call for help; leaving will expose you to the cold temperatures that can cause frostbite quickly, and can be life-threatening over a longer period of time.
Wind
Wind gusts will likely be between 35 and 45 mph through the night, with the strongest readings likely to take place along and north of Interstate 80. Some modest easing of winds will take place after Saturday morning, with a more significant reduction in winds by Christmas Day on Sunday. The wind will continue to cause blowing snow through the night and much of the day on Saturday.
Cold
Wind chills of -20 to -40 will continue through Friday night and Saturday morning, with some improvement later on Saturday into Sunday. Some lucky areas may actually see wind chill readings get back above zero by later Sunday or Monday.
Frostbite can occur in less than 15 minutes in this cold, so make sure you dress appropriately. Cover exposed skin, especially ears and nose, and try to limit time outside if possible.
This cold is also to blame for road conditions not improving quickly as salt, brine, and other chemical treatments don’t work well under 20°F.
What You Can Do
If you have holiday travel plans, you should be thinking of alternate scenarios, as it looks difficult and dangerous at times. Postpone travel if possible until crews are able to clear and treat roads. If you must be on the roads, have a winter weather kit in your car as it is possible you could be stranded for some time in the worst of the storm.
With the cold air in place and when wind chills will stay below zero for days, make sure that you have proper winter clothing to keep yourself safe from frostbite. Hat, gloves, scarves, and heavy coats will all be needed during this time.
Take a winter survival kit in your vehicle if you must travel, which could include:
• Full Tank of Gas
• Jumper cables or jump pack
• Cell phone charger
• First Aid Kit
• Flashlight with Batteries
• Blankets to keep warm
• Bottled water and nonperishable snacks
• Shovel, Ice Scraper, Snow Brush
• Emergency flares
• Sand or cat litter for traction
• Coat, Hat, Scarf, and Boots for all Travelers
Stay safe and stay up to date on the lasted conditions before venturing out if you must. We’ll be watching through the coming days and providing additional updates on-air, here on KCRG.com, and through the KCRG-TV9 First Alert Weather app.
Copyright 2022 KCRG. All rights reserved.

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