Ice & Snow Alerts
Nov. 11, 7:55 p.m.: A nine-person City of Columbia plow crew reported on Monday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. No new precipitation is expected as temperatures continue to drop through the night. Crews will continue focusing on First, Second and Third priority routes. Columbia Public Works Street Division will resume its normal shift on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 7:30 a.m. to continue responding to road conditions. Motorists are advised to continue driving with caution during their morning commute.
Nov. 11, 3:45 p.m.: A 24-person City plow crew will continue to treat and plow first and second priority routes, transitioning to include third priority routes, until 7 p.m. this evening. An overnight crew is being planned, as well, with more details available later today.
Nov. 11, 11:56 a.m.: Columbia Public Works continues to treat and plow designated snow routes. At this time, we don’t think that we will reach 2 inches of snow on the street; however, voluntarily not parking on priority routes is always appreciated. We will have an update on response plans for this evening and tommorrow morning later this afternoon. Please continue to drive with extreme caution on all streets.
Nov. 11, 8 a.m.: A 16-person crew reported at 5 a.m. and expanded to a 24-person crew at 7:30 a.m. Rain, sleet and wintry mix began about 6 a.m with road temperatures above freezing. A sleet mix began around 7 a.m. followed by a transition to snow around 7:30 a.m. Crews are focussing on first and second priority routes. Temperatures (air and pavement) are expected to drop with pavement temperatures below freezing sometime in the morning hours. Currently, a half inch to 2 inches of snow is possible. Motorists should stay tuned to their local forecasts for changing weather details, allow extra time for their morning and afternoon commutes, and drive with extreme caution.
Nov. 10: Columbia Public Works plans to report early Nov. 11 for response to potential winter weather. The City of Columbia Public Works Street Division plans to report early on Monday morning, Nov. 11, at 6 a.m. to monitor, treat and plow priority routes as needed. The forecast shows a strong possibility for rain followed by a potential wintry mix of snow or sleet sometime Monday morning. Public Works staff is also monitoring and preparing for a potential refreeze later in the morning on Monday as temperatures may plummet rapidly. Motorists should stay tuned to their local forecasts for changing weather details, allow extra time for their morning and afternoon commutes, and prepare to drive with extreme caution should winter weather occur.
Winter Weather Policies and Procedures
It is the City’s goal that all streets in Columbia be passable by a front-wheel drive vehicle as soon as possible when a winter weather event occurs. Approximately 520 lane miles of priority routes are plowed and treated 24 hours per day as needed during a winter weather event. Other streets are plowed and treated to a passable condition during business hours. When snow accumulates to 4 inches, though, all City streets are plowed and treated to a passable condition 24/7, once priority routes are near normal.
The City of Columbia has more than 1,350 lane miles of streets including 1,100 cul-de-sacs maintained by City of Columbia Public Works. The high number of cul-de-sacs and lane miles makes it necessary to prioritize roads during ice and snow events. Streets are prioritized by volume of traffic and to create a network of streets that connect neighborhoods to/from major roads, hospitals, schools, fire stations and commercial areas. These designated snow routes must be plowed/treated to a near normal condition. Winter weather events in Missouri can vary dramatically from one snow to the next, but generally speaking a typical response occurs in phases:
- Treat/Pretreat bridges, curves, hills and intersections on priority routes.
- Continuous operations on priority routes until near normal conditions are reached.
- Once priority routes are near normal, ensure all streets are passable by a front-wheel-drive vehicle to facilitate access to the priority routes. (When snow is less than 4 inches, this is done during business hours. When snow is more than 4 inches, this is done continuously in shifts.)
Whenever snow accumulates more than 2 inches, any vehicle parked on a designated snow route must be moved off of the roadway or risk a fine of $100 plus towing and storage charges. The purpose of this rule isn’t to collect fines, though. (We’d prefer not to tow a single vehicle.) This critical ordinance allows plow drivers the space needed to do their work more quickly, efficiently and safely for everyone. To be notified when it snows 2 inches or more, please sign up for alerts at Nixle.com or by texting COLUMBIAPW to 888-777.
- Winter Weather Hub – Quick links to the resources you need
- Snow Fighting Summary – City Channel (Video)
- What is a passable road?
- What are Priority Routes?
- Council Snow Memo – Nov. 4, 2019
Call: 573.874.2489 / Email: PubW@CoMo.gov