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Local authorities still asking residents to stay in if possible

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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - The Sioux City Police Department is asking residents to refrain from driving Friday, or reminding them to be cautious if they do travel.

Sergeant Jeremy McClure said accident reports have been on the lower side for the first half of Friday. As of Friday afternoon there had been 13 accidents in the past 24 hours.

"Because of the rain beforehand, we're experiencing a lot of slick spots. Some ice underneath the snow and such, so just use extra caution when you're out there. Overall people have been really good, we've seen a pretty low accident rate," said Sgt. McClure.

Another piece of advice from McClure is to make sure you clear off all of your windows prior to driving.

Iowa State Patrol Trooper John Farley is also reiterating to community members that if you don't need to drive, stay home and stay safe. He said that Iowa DOT has done a great job maintaining the roadways but there is still a need to be cautious.

"We've had kind of a triple threat of ice, snow, and heavy wind. And when you talk about a blizzard, this is it. And we've had obviously a few incidents today with cars in the ditch and a few collisions. But overall the best part about today is people have taken heed," said Trooper Farley.

According to the chief deputy of the Plymouth County Sheriff's Office, dangerous driving conditions are also an issue in that area, tonight.

Deputy Singer said on some roadways they found ice underneath the snow, which has caused some accidents. He said as of Friday afternoon, they have responded to a few cars and semis stuck in ditches overnight. And they had one plow that was tipped on its side by the strong winds.

Singer said it is still going to be a good night to stay in, if possible.

"Even once the winds stop and visibility improves, they need to allow the road crews, county, state, local to get out and get them cleared. Just because you can suddenly see doesn't mean the snow drifts are still gone. So be patient and let those guys get out and do the work." said Singer.

An official with the Iowa DOT said earlier on Friday they had around 500 plows working on those roads where snow fell or drifted because of the strong winds. DOT officials said road conditions have tended to be worse the farther south you go.

Plows will continue to work on those roads tonight, which is another thing to be aware of, if you must drive.

"If you are traveling out in these conditions, where visibility is such an issue, please be very careful operating your vehicle around the plows. Our plows operate at much slower speed, they can at times make some very abrupt moves." said Craig Bargfrede, Winter Operations Administrator Iowa DOT.

Iowa DOT are also asking residents to stay inside, and only travel if necessary.

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Leslie London

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