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Iowa DOT prepares for moderate to heavy snow in northern Iowa Friday

AMES, Iowa – Jan. 19, 2012 – Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) snowfighters across the state are preparing for a potentially dangerous snow storm forecast to hit the state tomorrow.

Iowa DOT forecast models predict 3 to 6 inches of snow running north roughly along U.S. 30 from Carroll to Ames, then east to Cedar Rapids and continuing to Clinton. The potential for 6 to 9 inches of snow exists in the area from Mason City to Waterloo and north to Decorah.

Temperatures are expected to remain frigid with highs struggling to reach double digits in some parts of the state Friday. While the winds are expected to be light, the extreme cold will push wind chill values as low as -25Fahrenheit in northern Iowa, making the situation even more hazardous.

Iowa DOT crews will be on the road as needed. Motorists are urged to use caution when approaching, following or passing a snowplow. Snowplows generally operate at much slower speeds than other traffic. Snowplows can be forced sideways when clearing hard-packed drifts and generate a “snow cloud” that may impair the vision of drivers in nearby vehicles. Remain a safe distance behind the snowplow, pass only when clear and never continue to drive alongside a plow. Allow plenty of space when passing a snowplow because the wing of the plow blade extends out to the side of the truck. Do not cut back into the lane of traffic too soon in front of a snowplow because the blade also extends in front of the truck.

Remember the slogans, “Ice and Snow … Take It Slow” and “Don’t crowd the plow.”

The Iowa DOT is advising travelers to carefully monitor weather and road conditions. For traveler information, visit http://www.511ia.org/,call 511 (within Iowa) or 800-288-1047 (nationwide), or follow us on Twitter @StatewideIA511.

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