Heavy snow expected in Ames with winter storm warning in effect


Emily Blobaum/Iowa State Daily

Central Campus is covered in snow on Feb. 2. 

Tristan Wade

A winter storm warning is in effect for multiple counties in Iowa, including Story County and the city of Ames from 3 p.m. Thursday to 9 a.m. Friday, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

The warning said “total snow accumulations of 4 to 7 inches are expected. Northerly winds will increase to 15 to 25 miles per hour tonight and will create areas of blowing and drifting of snow.”

Additionally, the NWS warning cautioned drivers to take it safe on the roads.

“A winter storm warning for snow means severe winter weather conditions will make travel very hazardous or impossible…be prepared for significant reductions in visibility at times.”

Snowfall on Monday caused poor road conditions which lead to a number of accidents across the state. There were a total of nine casualties from traffic accidents, including a pile up of 50 to 70 cars on Interstate 35 outside of Ames.

The city of Ames has issued a snow ordinance in effect at 9 a.m. Friday.

The snow ordinance means that on streets marked by red and white signs as emergency snow routes, residents can not park there. If they do their car may be towed or ticketed.

“To assist in the plowing efforts, all Ames residents are asked to remove parked vehicles from residential streets. However, only those on snow routes are required to move them,” said the city of Ames in a news release about the snow ordinance.

Justin Clausen, Ames Public Works Operations Manager, said that the snow routes are mostly heavily trafficked roads, often along CyRide routes and that it is important to clear those streets completely in case emergency services need access.

Residents can not moved their cars back until the street is completely clear and it has stopped snowing.

“It’s important to remember that even if the street has been plowed, you can’t move your car back if it’s still snowing,” Clausen said. “If it’s still snowing plows may need to come back through the snow routes.”

Quick and efficient snow removal is the goal, Clausen said, and moving your car off the road helps that.

According to the NWS, snowfall is expected to continue through Thursday night and into early Friday morning.