(Des Moines) If you have travel plans later this week chances are you will be doing at least one of three things.
Option one is to simply cancel or delay your trip, but if that’s not possible then these two alternatives are likely: Relying on the media to give you the latest weather related information and/or turning to 511ia.org to view the updated road conditions.
DOT Winter Operations Administrator Annette Dunn says 511ia.org is a combination of law enforcement and local snow plow drivers relaying new information every two hours to a group of 5-15 employees at the main office in Des Moines that update the website. Dunn admits it is a difficult task to keep the public updated on road conditions that they can’t see with their own eyes.
“It's a cumbersome task for our staff and for law enforcement staff to constantly be aware of what's going on, so that does become a challenge, however they do the best they can in all 99 counties”
Adding to the DOT’s ability to keep the roads safe is input from social media websites.
“We do try and validate the information before we react to it. We don't necessarily contact the twitter and facebook 24 hours a day.”