WATERLOO — Winter keeps battering Northeast Iowa this week, as snow crept back into the area Thursday evening.

“Five to eight inches will be common by noon” today, according to Rod Donavon, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Des Moines.

North of Iowa Highway 3, lesser amounts of 3 to 5 inches were expected.

Schools in both Waterloo and Cedar Falls are closed today.

Snowfall was light initially, but downtown Waterloo streets were covered by 6 p.m. Thursday. Snow was forecast to continue into this morning, with the heaviest amounts expected by 3 a.m.

Local road crews were poised to hit streets early and clear them for this morning’s traffic. Cedar Falls public works and parks manager Brian Heath said Cedar Falls crew made sure priority streets were clear Thursday evening, and then “rest, regroup and start plowing everything at 4 a.m.”

Iowa Department of Transportation officials urged drivers to slow down and be prepared for the unexpected, as highways could remain slick into Saturday. That warning comes on the heels of a deadly winter storm Monday that claimed the lives of eight Iowans. A Bloomfield man died Tuesday in a crash authorities deemed weather related.

The wind was expected increase to 15-25 mph out of the north, Donavon said, causing “some blowing snow and some areas of drifting snow.” Temperatures were projected to drop to the mid- to low-teens today with wind chills of zero to 10 below. Temperatures are expected to continue dropping Saturday.

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