Public Safety

Heavy snow predicted for Cedar Rapids over the weekend

Area shelters adjust for late-season storm

(File photo) Brandon Powers of Powers Plowing back-plows a driveway on the south side of Cedar Rapids on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. Powers says that, because of the number of clients he has, this winter has been slow but not bad for business. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
(File photo) Brandon Powers of Powers Plowing back-plows a driveway on the south side of Cedar Rapids on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. Powers says that, because of the number of clients he has, this winter has been slow but not bad for business. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

Although the official beginning of spring was three days ago, on March 20, Cedar Rapids finds itself preparing for winter weather conditions come Friday night and Saturday.

According to the National Weather Service, a snowstorm is expected to impact parts of eastern Iowa tonight into Saturday. The storm is expected to hit the cities of Independence, Manchester, Dubuque, Vinton and Cedar Rapids among others.

The precipitation will start out as rain or a mixture of rain and snow but will quickly change to moderate, and at times, heavy snow, according to the National Weather Service.

Widespread six to 10-inch snow amounts are expected with isolated snow amounts around 15 inches possible. In addition to what is expected to be a wet heavy snow, easterly winds are forecast to gust between 30 to 35 mph.

A winter storm warning will be in effect from 7 p.m. this evening to 7 p.m. Saturday.

Residents of affected areas are advised to prepare for slippery roads, sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots, leave extra stopping distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you and to be especially cautious driving.

More driving tips from Iowa DOT: http://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/public-safety/iowa-dot-provides-safety-tips-ahead-of-icy-weather-20180219

Area shelters

Shelter House, 821 S. Clinton St., plans to open up its low-barrier winter emergency shelter Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

In Cedar Rapids, the Linn County Continuum of Care’s winter overflow shelter cannot re-open because the building, on 33rd Avenue SW, has been sold. J’nae Peterman, director of homelessness and housing services for Waypoint, said human service organizations are, however, working to open up low-barrier extra cots for the storm this weekend. 

If people are needing emergency shelter this weekend and all their other options have been exhausted, Peterman said to call shelter services at 319-366-7999.

“We’ve had calls coming in already this morning wanting to know what was the plan for the weekend..,” Peterman said, adding that because the winter overflow shelter had just closed, the oraganizations are working to reach out to those who they already know may need help. 

Parade canceled

Saturday’s St. Joseph’s Day Parade in Czech Village has been canceled, because of the predicted weekend snowstorm.
Businesses along the parade route, stretching from NewBo to Czech Village, will still be running their planned specials and activities. For more information, go to crmainstreet.org/event/st-josephs-day/?instance_id=9543

Fish delay

The spring weather storm is putting a damper on fish pond restocking. 

According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, trout stockings originally scheduled for Saturday, March 24 at Terry True Blood Lake in iowa City and Ottumwa Park Pond in Ottumwa have been postponed. Accordingly, family fishing events scheduled to coincide with the trout stockings have been canceled.

The Terry Trueblood restocking has been rescheduled for March 30 at 11:00 a.m. The family fishing event at the location will not be rescheduled.

The Ottumwa Park Pond stocking date has not yet been determined.

l Comments: (319) 339-3172; maddy.arnold@thegazette.com

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