The Winter Weather Advisory issued for Marion County has been extended until midnight tonight. Expect snow and blowing snow causing potentially dangerous travel conditions. Snow is currently falling in Marion County. An additional inch is expected over the course of the daylight hours, with total snow accumulations of around 2-4 inches. Areas of snow and blowing snow will reduce visibilities to below one half mile and white out conditions are possible, especially in rural areas. Drifting snow will also be problematic. A large area of central Iowa including Warren and Polk counties is now under a Blizzard Warning until midnight tonight.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office reports that area roads are 100% snow covered and slick and that blowing snow is reducing visibility to near zero—at times white-out conditions exist. The Sheriff’s office is not recommending travel at this time. The Iowa Department of Transportation also does not recommend travel on highways 163 and 5 from Highway 14 to Des Moines, and to the west. Towing services are prohibited on HWY 163. There are multiple reports of vehicles in ditches. City, county, and DOT road crews are at work, but high winds are making their efforts difficult. If you must travel, please use caution, and give our road crews and first responders plenty of room to work.
Marion County Emergency Management Agency says both trucks and motor graders will operate until 6:00 PM tonight. Both will start again at 4:00 AM. With projected winds up to 37 MPH, they anticipate conditions to continue deteriorating though out today and this evening and will find roads drifted back shut. Motor Graders are concentrating on North/South roads today. Emergency Response Motor grader operators will be taking the graders home with them today so that they are distributed throughout the county, in case they are needed in order to make way for first responder crews.
The one to count on for the most up to date weather and road condition information is KNIA KRLS.