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Iowa Department of Public Safety
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Des Moines, Iowa 50319
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Wednesday, February 2, 1011  

ISP OVERNIGHT EFFORTS TO RESCUE MOTORISTS DIFFICULT, BUT SUCCESSFUL

Des Moines, IOWA --- Over night, Iowa State Patrol (ISP) Troopers in the central and eastern portions of the state worked diligently, often putting their own safety in harm's way, to continue serving Iowa motorists who were stranded or attempting travel on treacherous Iowa roadways.

"In our three Districts to the East and Southeast, many Troopers worked throughout the night long after their shift ended because they couldn't make it home. So they continued to work into the morning hours, serving Iowans," said ISP Captain Gary Nieuwsma who supervises the eastern half of the state.

As the storm progressed travel became nearly impossible. In two instances, Trooper cars became stuck because of the drifting snow. One of the Troopers was picked up by another officer. The second Trooper however, Trooper Jesse Hernandez, was assisting a tow truck and some stranded motorists, when his car was drifted in on Hwy 6. He and the other motorists spent the night in their vehicles before being rescued at 8:00 a.m.

Unfortunately, Trooper Hernandez's group was not the only instance in which limited resources and impassible roads inhibited the ability of Troopers and DOT plows to make a motorist assist. Another Iowan was stranded in his vehicle on a county road north of Durant all night before a Trooper could bring him to a warm, safe location at 8:00 a.m.

Captain Nieuwsma said, "Our partnerships with the DOT and the National Guard Highway Assistance Teams were invaluable in this storm. Both organizations' staffs worked hard to mitigate the effects of the storm. Although it was a very dangerous blizzard, these partnerships made Iowa a safer place to weather the storm."

Below are preliminary data for the Iowa State Patrol, indicating the heavy work load over the last few days. These numbers may increase as Troopers turn in reports over the next few days.

1/31/11, 00:00-23:59 2/1/11, 00:00-23:59 2/2/11, 00:00-09:00
     
Crashes Investigated     58 Crashes Investigated     92 Crashes Investigated  1
Motorist Assisted        155 Motorist Assisted          202 Motorist Assisted  71
Calls at Com Centers  921 Calls at Com Centers  1,431 Calls at Com Centers 662
 

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