IOWA CITY, Iowa (KWWL) — As a wintry mix hit Iowa City, University of Iowa students walking to and from class bared the elements and the pain of the icefall.
“I’ve never seen anything like this, honestly. I feel like it’s snow. It’s not rain. It’s just like pelting people with ice,” University of Iowa student, Samantha McCabe, said.
Other students were caught by a painful surprise.
“I’m kind of bummed I wore Birkenstocks today. I mean I can’t really tell if it’s snowing or what it’s doing, but it’s not great. It’s pretty miserable,” Joey Basche said.
People took refuge walking under window awnings to escape it. Students said there were slick parts but, for the most part, walking was manageable.
Some cars had close calls, sliding to a stop at intersections, as the round of wintry mix stirred up the city.
“This winter has been unique in the fact that it came so late and it has never gone away. It continued to be very cold, snowed a lot and now a lot of freezing rain, as well,” Iowa City Superintendent of Streets & Traffic Engineering, Brock Holub, said.
From dealing with freezing rain, to light then heavy sleet, the streets department was busy loading trucks to hit the streets over and over again to put down layers of salt and sand.
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Despite it being an active late-winter for the department, Holub said the department is on track for its budget.
“We are within the means of the budget at this point. We are getting strained by so many events, so frequent. The ice events are very difficult to handle, as well,” he said.
Holub said the last winter “ice” event, on December 28, cost the city around $35,000 to treat and maintain the roads.
As the streets crews were in a rush to hit the streets, students were in a hurry to get off them.
“It’s pretty hectic. Everyone is just trying to get out of the crazy weather,” McCabe said.
KWWL Chief Meteorologist Mark Schnackenberg said the normal snowfall level for Iowa City is around 17.6 inches of snow. This winter Iowa City is already at 28.1 inches. That’s a bit lower than the all-time high of 42 inches back in the 30’s.