For this morning’s first blast of winter, as of 8 AM, 142 plows were out on Iowa’s roadways, applying solid and liquid material, and others just plowing. Most of the plows are currently working in the Northwest corner of the state. In the map below, the “blue” means that the snowplow is applying material (if you click on it, you’ll see which material it is using). The ‘Orange’ snowplows are NOT applying any material.

511ia.org

The Iowa Department of Transportation’s snowplow tracking website, trackaplow.iowadot.gov, allows you to see where the state’s snowplows are currently located, the materials they are applying, and photos of the roads that they are operating on.

The Iowa DOT has a fleet of around 900 snowplows and through the ‘Track-a-Plow’ website you can see how many plows are out on the roads across the state. The Iowa Department of Transportation is responsible for snow and ice removal on more than 9,000 miles of Iowa highways --- that’s over 24,000 lane-miles of roadway. (The department is responsible for all interstates and primary highways.)

If you do plan on traveling during winter-driving conditions, make sure you utilize 511ia.org or download the free app. Current road conditions and radar imagery is also available.

511ia.org

Rock salt is the primary deicing material. Each year, the Iowa DOT uses approximately 200,000 tons of rock salt to help clear the roads of snow and ice. (The salt comes from Louisiana and/or Kansas)

The trucks also utilize a ‘brine’ mixture. Spraying a liquid salt-brine solution on the roadway will help keep snow and ice from bonding to the pavement.  The salt solution acts as a barrier so the snow and ice do not form a strong bond to the pavement.

The Cedar Valley's Most Hated Intersections

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.