Ice & Snow Alerts 

Jan. 15, 2019, 4 p.m.: Crews are on standby as of 4 p.m. today. Engineers will continue to monitor weather/road conditions for needed response as there is a minor chance for fog or potentially some drizzle overnight. Drivers should watch for spotty slick conditions and drive with caution. Crews will report again tomorrow during normal business hours unless called early.

Jan. 15, 2019, 6 a.m.: Drive slowly on all roads. Light glaze developing – 30 degrees and rising temps. If you don’t feel your street is passable due to not being plowed overnight, email now or beginning at 8 a.m. call 573-874-2489.

Jan. 14, 2019, 7:30 p.m.: Significant progress was made by City plow crews today, the fourth calendar day of continuous 24/7 operations during and following 16+  inches of snowfall. A shift change occurred at 7 p.m. with 25 crew members continuing to work on getting all neighborhood streets passable by front wheel drive vehicles. Public Works engineers estimate that 80 percent of streets are passable with a target of 100 percent overnight. Some thawing and refreeze has occurred at piles and in sporadic locations. A portion of the overnight crew will address these issues. Light freezing drizzle is possible with the potential to impact some operations. Prudent driving is encouraged on all roads.

Jan. 14, 2019, 11 a.m.: Progress on roads continues to be made as City plow crews worked through the night, working from the outer neighborhoods toward the neighborhoods in the center of town. A shift change occurred at 7 a.m. with 39 crew members continuing to work on neighborhood streets. Public Works engineers estimate that between 40 and 50 percent of streets have been plowed at this point. Inspectors have been dispatched to review all streets as to whether they are passable. Crews will continue plowing streets that are not yet passable by a front-wheel drive vehicle. We understand the frustration from this massive snow event but plow drivers are asking for patience as they are working hard to get the job done. 

If you have questions, please call the Contact Center at 573.874.CITY (2489) or email

Snowplow drivers group shot  snowplow driver Gerod CrumSnow Fighting Award 2017                           

Winter Weather Policies and Procedures 

It is our goal that all streets in Columbia are passable by a front-wheel drive vehicle as soon as possible. 

The City of Columbia has more than 1,350 lane miles of streets including 1,100 cul-de-sacs maintained by Public Works. The sheer volume of cul-de-sacs and lane miles makes it necessary to prioritize roads during ice and snow events.         

There are 470 lane miles of designated snow routes, or priority routes, in Columbia. These priority routes create a network of major roads and residential streets extending throughout the city. The primary purpose of these high-volume roads is to ensure safe passageway to highways, hospitals, schools, fire stations and commercial areas.  

Every event is not exactly the same, but generally speaking a typical response occurs in phases:     

  • Treat bridges, curves, hills and intersections as needed;
  • Clear priority routes to “near normal” condition.
  • Ensure all other City streets are “passable” by a front-wheel-drive vehicle to facilitate access to priority routes.
  • Respond to any reports received by the City Contact Center concerning passable roads.               

 Priority routes are plowed and treated 24 hours per day as needed during a winter weather event; other routes are plowed and treated to a passable condition during normal business hours. When snow reaches 4 inches, all of the City’s 1,350 lane miles are plowed and treated to a passable condition 24/7 once priority routes are near normal.  

There is no parking allowed on priority routes when snow accumulates 2 inches or more. Parking Utility staff do their best to warn drivers, but vehicles will be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense if they are not moved. To be reminded of when it’s time to move cars off of priority routes, sign up for alerts at or by texting the phrase COLUMBIAPW to 888-777.