OSCEOLA, Iowa — A severe weather system dumped snow and freezing rain across Iowa Wednesday night, which caused long-haul truck drivers to stop their journeys through the state earlier than usual.
Truck stops and rest areas filled up quickly when the freezing rain started in the early afternoon.
Phillip Giaimo planned to drive from Kansas to Minnesota, but chose to spend the night at the Pilot truck stop along Interstate 35 in Osceola instead.
“I was watching the weather front move in,” Giaimo said. “I just decided, ‘Welp, I’m 270 miles away from my delivery, I might as well shut down now.”
Giaimo said the weather affected his ability to drive safely on the interstate, and the slower travel ate into the limited hours he is allowed to drive every day.
He said many truckers fell into the same predicament Wednesday afternoon, which led to a cutthroat search for parking spaces.
“After three o’clock in the afternoon, if you’re in a major city, you’re not going to find any parking,” Giaimo said. “A lot of the customers that we go to don’t allow us to park there, so you end up in a rest area 20 or 30 miles behind your point.”