Monday's rain became Tuesday's coating of ice in the Burlington area.

This winter has seen no shortage of weather-related headaches, and the aftermath of Monday's rain and sleet was no exception.

The rain that fell Monday evening turned to sleet and froze ahead of Tuesday morning's light snowfall, making for slick roadways, parking lots and sidewalks as well as ice-covered power lines.

One Burlington postal worker's morning route was interrupted Tuesday morning after the truck he was driving slid into the Mississippi River.

It was about 9:30 a.m. when a United States Postal Service truck had been delivering mail at Bluff Harbor Marina when it became stuck. The truck had been pulled from the area it was stuck in to another location, which was on an incline. When the driver tried to drive the truck, it lost traction and slid into the water between the shore and the docks.

Jon Billups, who manages the marina, said the driveway had been salted Tuesday morning, "but he evidently hit a slick spot."

The driver of the truck, who has not been identified, was able to escape without injury.

"A carrier experienced a vehicle incident today when winter weather conditions caused significant ice and slippery roads," said USPS spokeswoman Kristy Anderson. "The carrier is unharmed and well."

Bowman's Auto Repair and Towing was called to pull the truck from the water, a process that took about 40 minutes.

"It was done," Mark Bowman said of the submerged vehicle. "Mail was floating."

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Anderson said the mail was recovered and is being dried out. After the mail has been dried, each piece of it will be reviewed to determine whether it is salvageable and to ensure the address is legible. Mailed determined as salvageable will be delivered. If the mail is not salvageable, the USPS will notify potential recipients in writing.

"When unexpected events occur causing potential mail damage, we do everything possible to salvage the mail and clean (or) dry it (depending on the circumstance)," Anderson said. "We do everything we can to get the mail to its final destination."

As for the vehicle, Anderson said it has little to no damage. USPS management is investigating the incident. Further details have not been released.

Burlington School District Superintendent Pat Coen said buses have had issues getting stuck on gravel roads following changes in weather, including one that got stuck on a snowbank along Y Camp Road, but none have actually gone off the road. In those circumstances, the district's maintenance workers use a district-owned truck equipped with a sander to put down salt in the problem area.

"Anywhere that a bus driver says this is to the point of being dangerous, we get right on it," Coen said. "We do actually send (employees) out with a school vehicle onto the county roads and make it so the bus can get in and out safely. That's common practice."


As people struggled not to slip and fall and drivers navigated still-slippery roadways, Alliant Energy workers had their hands full resolving power outages brought on by the weather.

Mike Wagner, a spokesman for Alliant Energy, said 215 Des Moines County customers were without power Tuesday evening due to weather-related issues as crews worked to restore it. One outage was in Mediapolis, one was south of Morning Sun and another was between Danville and New London.

"One of the biggest challenges we're facing today is ice on the lines. In some areas of the eastern part of our service area, we had anywhere from a half an inch to a quarter of an inch of ice on the lines," Wagner said. "And that's a concern because it can just add additional weight. We do everything we can to increase the reliability of the system. If you get a lot of extra weight on the line, it could cause issues."

Anticipated wind gusts of 40 mph throughout some parts of the state were cause for more concern as wind gusts of above 35 mph can cause further downed power lines as well as a galloping effect in which power lines run into each other.


A storm system previously forecast to impact southeast Iowa Friday is looking less likely to do so, according to the National Weather Service.

Tim Gross, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Quad Cities, said there is a 20 percent chance of light snow over Burlington Friday morning as the storm makes its way from northeast Wyoming and into Nebraska before moving into Missouri, but the system previously forecast to tear through Iowa now appears to be heading further south into northern Missouri.

Southeast Iowa could get hit with more winter weather Sunday, when a storm system now located over the Pacific Ocean is expected to move into the region, bringing with it up to four inches of snow.

"We have about a 50 percent chance of snow Sunday morning at the moment. That looks to be more of a system that will impact our area on Sunday," Gross said. "They're trending that this could be another medium-sized storm, maybe a few inches of snow, but nothing more than probably a two- to four-inch snow at the most."