DES MOINES, Iowa — Interstate 35 remains closed Monday morning between Highway 30 at Ames and north into Minnesota, and it is expected to be closed for some time as plows work to clear the roads of snow and ice.
Heavy snow and blizzard conditions over the weekend caused terrible problems on the roads as the snow drifted and plows could not keep up. The plows were pulled from the roads Sunday night into Monday morning because of the conditions.
Sgt. Nathan Ludwig with the Iowa State Patrol told Channel 13 they had originally hoped to open I-35 for the morning commute Monday, but conditions are not safe to do so. He says they will not open the road until the DOT determines it is safe and that could be a while.
The DOT will issue a notification when I-35 can be reopened safely, but says conditions will still make travel difficult.
Sgt. Ludwig says he’s received reports from several troopers north of Ames that there is only one lane of I-35 open in some areas and snow drifts are as high as eight to 10 feet.
There are at least 50 to 60 plus vehicles in the ditch or median between the Elkhart exit and Ames.
Rest stops and truck stops have been packed to capacity, like the ones at the Elkhart and Dayton exits, and many semi drivers have been forced to park along the exit ramps of the interstate. The Iowa DOT says the Hilton Coliseum parking lot in Ames has now been opened up for semi parking.
The Iowa State Patrol has covered at least 100 crashes and assisted 425 motorists since 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
You can keep up to date with current road conditions from the Iowa Department of Transportation here.