Public Safety

Today's winter weather updates: School closings, canceled meetings, parking updates

Traffic flows along I-80 in freezing rain and fog in Coralville on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Traffic flows along I-80 in freezing rain and fog in Coralville on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
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Eastern Iowa residents can expect a “very wintry week” with a snowstorm developing Tuesday afternoon and dangerously cold temperatures by the end of the week.

Andy Ervin, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Quad Cities office, said freezing drizzle will continue before it changes to freezing rain and then snow Tuesday afternoon. Residents can expect between 6 to 8 inches with blowing and drifting snow late Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

If drivers are on unsalted roads, they can expect slick conditions.

For the remainder of the workweek, Ervin said Eastern Iowans can expect frigid conditions, with the worst coming Thursday night into Friday. The temperature in the Cedar Rapids area is expected to be between -10 and -15 degrees that night, with windchills at -30 or -35 degrees, which Ervin calls “dangerously cold” — there’s a high risk of frostbite to exposed skin in this weather, even for a short amount of time.

Drivers can follow a number of tips to stay safe while driving in cold and slick conditions. AAA recommends not using a vehicle’s parking break or cruise control and keeping the gas tank at least half full at all times.

The auto club also advises drivers to keep their cars stocked with a cellphone, blankets, winter gear, food and any needed medication in case they get stranded.

If a car gets stuck, people should stay in the vehicle, according to AAA. This makes it easier for rescuers to locate people who are stranded, and it’s easy to get lost or lose sight of a car in blowing snow. Drivers should tie a brightly colored cloth to the top of the car’s antenna or stick it at the top of a window. Dome lights should also be kept on at night.

Drivers should also ensure the tailpipe is not clogged with snow or ice. A clog can cause carbon monoxide to leak into the passenger compartment.

The engine should run just long enough to remove the chill in the air with the heater and then be turned off to save gas.

AAA also recommends a winter driving kit include: a bag of cat litter, sand or salt, a snow brush and small shovel, traction mat, flashlight, window washing liquid, gloves, ice scraper, towels, jumper cables, blanket, warning flares or triangles, and a cellphone.

Updated Road Conditions

Click here to see current road conditions, updated by the Iowa Department of Transportation.

Click here to see current locations of Iowa DOT snowplows or see images of roads from inside the trucks.

Tuesday snow announcements include:

This list will be updated througout the day

Schools:

Tuesday: Cedar Rapids Community School District, Iowa City Community School District, College Community School District and Linn-Mar Community School District have canceled all classes. All Kirkwood Community College locations will be closed Tuesday.

Wednesday: Iowa City Schools and Regina Catholic Education Center will have a two-hour late start on Wednesday. No morning preschool and breakfast will not be served at Iowa City Schools.

parking and towing:

Iowa City: City crews will tow vehicles to allow plows to clear the entire width of streets beginning at 7 a.m. on both Thursday and Friday. On-street parking will be prohibited in posted areas. Vehicles that are not moved will be towed. Crews will post “No Parking Due to Maintenance” signs at least 48-hours in advance, beginning Tuesday. For more information, visit icgov.org City ordinance requires vehicles parked on the street to be moved every 48-hours, regardless of snow removal or other work. If your vehicle is towed, call the Parking Division at 319-356-5151 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. After hours call the Iowa City Police Department’s routine line at 319-356-5275.

North Liberty: The City of North Liberty will prohibit on-street parking beginning at 11 a.m. Tuesday. The prohibition will expire Thursday at 6 p.m. Off-street parking for those without available garage, driveway or other paved parking space is available at public parking areas, including the North Liberty Community Center, 520 W. Cherry Street. Vehicles in violation of the no-parking order may be ticketed and towed without notice.

Canceled meetings:

• The Iowa Department of Transportation’s meeting from 5 to 7 p.m. at Hiawatha City Hall to discuss improvements to Interstate 380 in Linn County has been canceled.

• Cedar Rapids YMCA canceled all exercise programs, classes and child care Tuesday.

CLOSURES:

• Indian Creek Nature Center is closed Tuesday and programs scheduled for the day will not take place.

• The Cedar Valley Humane Society will also be closed to the public Tuesday due to the incoming winter storm.

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We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

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