Occasionally, winter weather in Iowa is so severe that it becomes unsafe for snowplow operators to be on the roadway; or the combination of high winds and heavy snowfall makes it impossible for snowplows to achieve any measurable progress in preventing roadways from becoming impassable. In these instances, snowplow trucks are recalled from the roadways and returned to their garage. Operators will resume service just as quickly as weather conditions permit.

When the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) is not maintaining certain roads during a winter storm, it is unsafe for motorists to attempt to use them. It is highly likely the roads are already or will soon become impassable. Because of the public safety risk during these emergency situations, the affected roads are deemed closed/impassable and the public is notified as quickly as possible. Public notification is provided on, through the 511 phone service, via issuance of a news release, and as an X post (formerly Twitter). In addition, the Iowa State Patrol issues an electronic bulletin to the respective 911 centers, so agencies responding to emergencies are not dispatched on closed/impassable roads.

If a garage(s) has suspended plowing operations, the Iowa DOT will inform the public which maintenance garage(s) has recalled its plows, when it resumes services, and which roads are considered to be closed/impassable in that area. The color-coded map available on this Web page pinpoints the locations of the Iowa DOT's 101 maintenance garages and identifies the highways each garage is responsible for maintaining. This map is intended to assist the public to quickly pinpoint garage locations and roadways affected when snowplow trucks are recalled.


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