Engineers at the Iowa Department of Transportation have been holding conference calls Wednesday on how to get some help for southeast Iowa. Bob Younie who is the State DOT Maintenance Engineer says that this state wide storm coupled with huge amounts of snow in southeast Iowa has caused the DOT to look at sending extra help to snow bound southeastern Iowa. Hardest hit is State Highway 218, or the Avenue of the Saints. "In southeast Iowa they had 16-17 inches of snow," said Younie, " so, what we're doing is as we finish cleaning up roads in other parts of the state, we're moving some of that equipment to southeast Iowa," he added.
Younie says they have some goals. ""We think most of the state, the non-southeast Iowa part of the state is gonna be pretty well cleaned up by the end of today," he said. Younie added, "once we get to southeast Iowa, we'd like to have it all done within 24 hours after that, that's our goal."
Iowa has 901 snow plows over the whole state covering 10,000 miles of Interstate and Primary Highways. They also have 11 heavy duty snow throwers which cost a half a million dollars each. They keep them all in the northern half of the state, as southern Iowa usually does not get heavy snow. The snow cleanup Wednesday was on highway 175 east of Ellsworth. The road was closed due to drifting snow. The heavy duty snow thrower is headed toward Radcliffe, Eldora, and eventually Grundy Center tonight. The driver of the plow said he has a number of stretches yet to plow which have numerous cars in the middle which may have to be towed. One car was almost on highway 175 in a drift the snow thrower says he will just go around it. Thursday morning at mid night this thrower and one other will be loaded on trucks to go to SE Iowa. This unit will be sent to Muscatine.