Police Respond to Dozens of Minor Crashes During Storm

By Christy Aumer, Reporter

Snow begins to fall on First Avenue in downtown Cedar Rapids on the evening of Thursday, February 21, 2013. As much as 5 to 7 inches is predicted for much of eastern Iowa as snow continues to fall into Friday morning. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette-KCRG TV9)

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By Aaron Hepker

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Several area police departments responded to a fairly low number of weather-related calls between Thursday evening and Friday morning, officials said.

The Cedar Rapids Police Department reported the highest number of accidents and traffic hazard calls compared to area departments. Sgt. Cristy Hamblin said between 5 p.m. Thursday to around 12 p.m. Friday, authorities received 30 reports regarding accidents, but only one involved an injury and it was minor. She said they received about 22 traffic hazard calls.

Iowa City Police Sgt. Vicki Lalla said authorities responded to about eight accidents between 5:30 p.m. Thursday to 9:30 a.m. Friday. She said authorities received 19 motorist assist type calls, such as being stuck somewhere or out of gasoline, but nothing too serious. Sgt. Lalla thinks the more forewarning there is about severe weather, the more prepared citizens are.

“A lot of activities were canceled last night, so not as many people were out,” Sgt. Lalla said.

Waterloo Police Captain Tim Pillack and Dubuque Police Lieutenant Scott Baxter echoed similar statistics. Captain Pillack said there were about five accidents from 5 p.m. Thursday to 10 a.m. Friday, but all were fairly minor and had no serious injuries. Lt. Baxter said police responded to three crashes from 10 p.m. Thursday to 10 a.m. Friday, but the wrecks involved no injuries.

“As always, our plow drivers are doing a fantastic job of clearing the roads,” Lt. Baxter said. “That helps immensely.”

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