Public Safety

3 things to know about this weekend's winter blast

Ice dangles from a piece of grass along the Lake Macbride spillway at a First Day Hike at Lake Macbride in Solon on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019. Parks nationwide hosted guided hikes in an effort to encourage people to get outside and start the new year in nature. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Ice dangles from a piece of grass along the Lake Macbride spillway at a First Day Hike at Lake Macbride in Solon on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019. Parks nationwide hosted guided hikes in an effort to encourage people to get outside and start the new year in nature. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

The latest winter storm to hit Eastern Iowa this weekend means many will be waking up to freezing rain and icy streets, going to bed with really high winds blowing outside and possibly contending with a few swelling rivers. Here are three things to know:

WINTRY MIX

Both Cedar Rapids and Iowa City were placed under a winter weather advisory Friday night by the National Weather Service, which expected freezing rain and sleet along Interstate 80 and northward. While forecasters didn’t think Iowa City would see ice accumulations Saturday morning, they said Cedar Rapids would. But as the day warms, forecasters predict it’ll turn to rain.

HIGH WINDS

Winds are forecast to pick up late Saturday throughout Eastern Iowa. Forecasters predict winds of 30 or 40 mph and gusts up to 55 mph — or worse. It’s expected to last until Sunday night. “Lightweight outdoor items will be blown around and tree damage and power outages will be possible,” they said.

RISING RIVERS

Neither the Cedar River in Cedar Rapids nor the Iowa River in Iowa City were expected to pose problems. But the English River at Kalona and the Wapsipinicon River near DeWitt in far Eastern Iowa could. Friday night, they were both several feet below flood stage but the weather service placed them under a watch.

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