Ice & Snow Alerts
Jan. 22, 2020, 3 p.m.: Some precipitation has begun during the early afternoon. However, air and pavement temperatures are currently forecast to remain above freezing. Motorists should continue to drive with appropriate winter weather caution. No overnight crews are currently planned but crews are ready to respond if needed. Public Works will continue to monitor the forecast and road conditions and adjust operational response as required.
Jan. 22, 2020, 11:30 a.m.: The possible winter weather system still seems to be heading our way, possibly sometime this afternoon. We’ll continue to monitor and are prepared to respond. Plow crews reported as scheduled this morning at 7 a.m. and response will continue until any winter weather precipitation concludes and designated snow routes are near normal. As winter weather can be unpredictable, residents are encouraged to closely monitor the forecast and changing road conditions throughout the mid-Missouri area, and be prepared to drive with winter weather caution.
Jan. 22, 2020, 7:30 a.m.: Crews reported at 7 a.m. as scheduled to prepare for forecasts of potential winter weather today. The system is currently expected to move through the area mid to late morning. As winter weather can be unpredictable, residents are encouraged to closely monitor the forecast and changing road conditions throughout the mid-Missouri area, and be prepared to drive with winter weather caution.
Jan. 21, 2020, 4:30 p.m.: A 22-person City of Columbia Public Works plow crew plans to report early Wednesday morning at 7 a.m., Jan. 22. Currently, winter weather activity is forecast to begin sometime between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. Public Works will continue to closely monitor road conditions and adjust operational plans as needed. A combination of freezing rain, wintry mix or snow is possible. Residual salt on priority routes should help minimize impacts as tomorrow’s temperatures are forecast to warm through the day, but spotty slick conditions are possible depending on the type, timing and amount of precipitation. As winter weather can be unpredictable, residents are encouraged to closely monitor the forecast and changing road conditions throughout the mid-Missouri area, and be prepared to drive with winter weather caution. Additional updates will be available via press release, on the City’s social media pages and CoMoSnow.com.
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
- What is a passable road?
- What are Priority Routes?
- Council Snow Memo – Nov. 4, 2019
Call: 573.874.(CITY) 2489 / Email: PubW@CoMo.gov