100-mile stretch of I-35 opens but conditions still rough

February 26, 2019
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Rachel Slifka of Cresco, Iowa, shovels snow off the sidewalk of her home on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, after an overnight winter storm dumped several inches of snow across much of the state. (Bryon Houlgrave/The Des Moines Register via AP)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities are reopening both northbound and southbound lanes of Interstate 35 between Ames and the Minnesota border but caution that driving conditions will remain poor.

Officials first opened southbound lanes at midday Monday and then opened the northbound lanes at about 5 p.m. A roughly 100-mile stretch of the freeway closed Sunday north of Ames due to heavy snow and whiteout conditions.

The heavy snow Saturday into Sunday reached 15 inches (38.1 centimeters) high at Buffalo Center, with 11 inches (28 centimeters) at Ventura and 8 inches (20.3 centimeters) at Mason City.

The cold weather has lingered as well. The National Weather Service issued wind chill advisories for northern Iowa, where it was minus 2 degrees (minus 18.9 Celsius) in Mason City early Monday.