Overnight rains in combination with melting snows are causing some primary and secondary roads to close. According to the Iowa Department of Transportation, U. S. 18 was closed in both directions between Nash Avenue which is one mile east of the Britt area and County Road R 44 which is two miles west of the Garner area. Some secondary roads were covered in water including 365th north of Forest City along with 360th further north.
According to Winnebago and Hancock County Emergency Services Director Andy Buffington, secondary road driving is not recommended.
The proverbial phrase “Turn Around Don’t Drown” is now more applicable than ever with much of the snow yet to melt still and drainage systems handling both rainwater and runoff from melting snows.
Roads crews are aware of and assessing the situation. The difficulty in trying to repair roads in these conditions is simply the weather. Adding rock to secondary roads will not solve the problem. It will only add to the issue at hand.
Additionally, those who are on these roads cannot always know the condition of the road ahead. The road could look alright to drive on, but hidden dangers such as broken down structure of the road could be hidden and get a vehicle stuck without warning.
Minor flooding of basements has already begun in some locations.
Water is flowing down to street drains that were cleared by city crews earlier this week. That water is making its way into frozen streams and rivers which may eventually break up and form ice jams like those in the southern part of the state.