Motorists are being urged to stay off the roads in northeast Iowa tonight, due to blowing and drifting snow.

Road conditions are reported to be very poor, especially in areas along and north of U.S. Highway 20. Travel is not advised on roads in Black Hawk, Bremer and Butler counties, officials with the Iowa Department of Transportation said.

As of 8:30 PM on Tuesday, nearly all paved roads in Black Hawk County were reported by sheriff's officials to be either iced or drifted over, making travel difficult. At the time, they also said most of the gravel roads across the county were impassable. Snow plows were pulled out of rural areas around 5 PM, and weren't expected to be back out until Wednesday morning.

Black Hawk County sheriff's officials said Dysart Road (County Road V-37) between East Shaulis and East Eagle Roads, south of Waterloo, was closed by drifting snow. They reported the road was blocked by snow drifts approximately two-feet deep.

North of Waterloo, authorities reported that slick conditions on U.S. Highway 218/Iowa Highway 27 at County Road C-57 (Cedar-Wapsi Road) near Janesville were creating travel concerns. Sheriff's officials said several vehicles had slid off the pavement and were either in the ditches or median.

Wind gusts as high as 40 miles per hour were reported in Black Hawk County Tuesday evening. Weather forecasters expected the wind to diminish after midnight.

Across northeast and east-central Iowa, law enforcement agencies issued multiple tow bans. As of 3:30 PM Tuesday, counties that had tow bans in effect included: Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Chickasaw, Clayton, Delaware, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Grundy, Hardin, Howard, Marshall and Winneshiek. In those areas, vehicles won't be pulled out of ditches until the tow ban is lifted.