Snow, wind complicate removal efforts last week

The snow eventually stopped flying last Sunday morning but the after effects of a blizzard that dumped upwards of a foot in the area were felt well into the week.

Sunday into Monday and even parts of Tuesday, state and county snowplows worked around the clock to open closed and impassable roads.

Pete Hjelmstad, field services coordinator for the Iowa Department of Transportation District 2, said Interstate 35 in Iowa was closed from Ames to the Minnesota border at 9:45 a.m. on Sunday. Portions of I-35 had been listed as impassable as early as midnight Sunday morning. He said a combination of heavy snow and stranded motorists necessitated the closure.

“Not only the snow but one of the big reasons we closed the interstate is the road more or less closes itself,” he said. “Cars get stuck and we can’t work around the cars and at that point, it’s not safe to get them out. Every time we would clear a path, it would fill back in again. A lot goes into closing a road.”

Interstate 35 remained closed until 5 p.m. Monday but conditions remained treacherous as heavy winds continued to blow snow across roadways well into the week.

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