WATERLOO -- Cities declared emergencies and high schools postponed athletic games in anticipation of a winter storm expected to dump anywhere between 6 and 8 inches of snow onto Northeast Iowa Friday into Saturday.
A winter storm warning was in effect Friday through 6 a.m. Saturday for the northeast Iowa counties of Allamakee, Black Hawk, Bremer, Butler, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Grundy, Hardin, Howard, Marshall, Mitchell, Tama and Winneshiek, according to the National Weather Service.
Snow emergencies and high school sports were already being impacted before the snow began Friday:
-- The City of Jesup declared a snow emergency until noon Sunday
-- The City of Gilbertville declared a snow emergency until noon Sunday, asking people to move their vehicles off of streets.
-- Waterloo Community Schools moved up the time of their East/West varsity girls' and boys' basketball games to 4 p.m. Friday. Freshman boys basketball against Denver was postponed with no make-up date; it was originally scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday.
At least a few inches of snow is expected across the entire state, with certain pockets near Algona in the north and Ottumwa in the south looking at up to a foot of snow.
Heavy snow -- up to an inch per hour -- is expected during the warning, and the NWS especially warns commuters Friday evening.
"Brief periods of intense snowfall rates may also quickly reduce the visibility to around 1/2 mile or less at times," the NWS bureau in Des Moines said Friday. "The hazardous conditions could seriously impact the afternoon/evening commute."
Forecasters said travelers may want to reconsider travel plans in general during the warning.
"If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency," the NWS bureau in Des Moines said in its warning.
For current road conditions from the Iowa Department of Transportation's Road Report, dial 511 or 1-800-288-1047.
Bitter cold temperatures will follow the storm on Sunday into Monday, with wind chills ranging from minus 5 to minus 15 degrees Farenheit. The biggest impact there will be frostbite, and the NWS advises people to limit their outdoor exposure during those days.