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Snow Emergency announced for Iowa City

BY NOELLE ALKHAWAJA | FEBRUARY 02, 2015 5:00 AM

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The city of Iowa City declared a snow emergency effective at 8 a.m.today because of hazardous weather conditions.

The Iowa City police said on Sunday, more cars on the streets resulted in collisions.

“Well, fortunately, early on people were staying off the streets,” police Sgt. Denise Brotherton said. “But then, unfortunately, they have decided to venture out, so we are beginning to have collisions.”

She said a total number of collisions for the day wouldn’t be available until later on.

On the University of Iowa campus, travel continues despite the snowy conditions.

“We’re still running,” Cambus dispatcher Sabrina Strella said. “We’re just kind of chugging along.”

However, the weather has caused some problems that called for a mechanic’s aid, Strella said.

“We did have [the Cambus] get stuck out by Mayflower,” she said. “But luckily, we have one of our two mechanics out there today getting them plowed out as soon as possible and digging the buses out when they need to be.”

Strella said Cambus officials do not yet know about the effect on the number of riders.

“I don’t know if it has affected the number of riders yet,” she said. “We will know that tomorrow when we get the count sheet back.”

The condition of the roads is causing problems for people venturing out as well as police vehicles, Brotherton said.

“The roads are starting to ice over,” she said. “It is also the ice, and snow, and visibility. It affects our response time, too, because we have to drive to the scene.”

The snow and poor driving conditions  — along with the Super Bowl on Sunday — has affected business in downtown Iowa City.

“I mean, we’re getting people in, but Super Bowl Sunday is actually one of the slower days for restaurants,” Short’s shift manager Eric Intlekofer said. “It’s hard to say for sure, but the weather’s not helping. Most people want to stay in when it’s snowing like this.”

However, not all businesses in downtown Iowa City are suffering.

“Everything is running normal,” Buffalo Wild Wings manager Naja Hanna said. “We haven’t really been affected at all.”

Police caution people against unnecessary driving, because it may cause an increase in the number of accidents.

“People who engage in unnecessary travel exasperate the problems,” Brotherton said.


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