Ice Storm Across Iowa Wreaking Havoc on Commuting Walkers

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- It was not a typical walk to work for East Village resident Jacqui Kalin. "This morning was really scary."
It's not your typical mid-January forecast either.

"You almost either want pouring rain or total snow, but this in-between stuff, it's definitely scary."

An ice storm has created havoc on Iowa roads but it's also treacherous for daily walkers like Eric Robbins. "Basically, I just skated my way down here." Robbins walks about three miles to the downtown YMCA everyday but it quickly turned into a workout just getting there. "I took a couple of spills. I fell a couple of times but I have to make it down there. No days off."

Jacqui Kalin lives and works in the East Village, but even her daily walking commute was a struggle. "It took me about five times the amount, which is still only a few minutes but I could not believe it," she said.

Businesses kept salt and sand on standby, keeping shoppers safe in the area. "It's definitley a serious thing and I hope people are careful today," said Kalin.

The Iowa Department of Public Health says a slip and fall stay at a hospital can cost an average of $26,000. It's also the leading cause of injury deaths in people over the age of 65.  In a downtown area with a high quality of living, one small slip can be disastrous.

Kalin took her walk with caution saying, "I love sports and I'm an athletic person but even I can start to slip and your heart and stomach drops. I'm able to catch myself but even I can put my wrist down and injure that and so I can imagine the older population and people not being able to catch themselves."

The IDPH also says fall related injuries contribute to the second highest amount of injury deaths among people of any age.

Mercy Medical Center says they have had over two dozen ice related injuries at their West Lakes and downtown locations from midnight - noon Monday. The injuries have ranged from broken bones to bruises and sprains.


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