Contact: Columbia Public Works
Columbia Public Works crews are preparing for significant snowfall to hit Columbia on Tuesday. Snow flurries are predicted to start in the late morning, with the heaviest snow falling between 12:00pm and 6:00pm Tuesday, and snow fall continuing overnight. Total accumulation is predicted to be around six inches, with heavier accumulation expected in northern areas.
Mid-day snowfall tomorrow will significantly impact the evening commute hours, and may be similar to the snow storm that hit Columbia last February, which shut down roadways for hours for people traveling home from work. Heavy traffic and abandoned cars are the biggest hurdle for road crews trying to plow priority routes. The City is asking customers to please help keep roadways clear by avoiding travel during the snowfall if at all possible, and to please remove cars that are parked on priority routes so that plows can come through quickly and make roads passable as soon as possible.
In order to better serve customers, a new city ordinance 14-304 designates 1st and 2nd priority snow routes as no parking zones when snow accumulates to more than 2 inches on Columbia roadways so that road crews can plow streets as quickly and efficiently as possible. The City encourages customers to move their cars off of priority routes before snow begins to fall to allow crews to come through and maintain passable conditions. Cars left parked on priority snow routes when snow reaches an accumulation depth of 2" will be issued a citation and may be towed at the owners expense if necessary. Customers can find a map of priority routes at www.comosnow.com. The City aims to give customers as much advanced notice as possible in these situations so that they can be prepared and the crews can start plowing quickly.
Abandoned cars blocking lanes of traffic will also be towed at the owners expense if necessary. If a customer is stuck and calling for towing service, they should ask for the price upfront and report any concern of price gouging to the Missouri General Attorney's hotline at 1-800-392-8222.
Snow plow crews are preparing and checking equipment today so the team can hit the streets full force and start plowing roads as soon as the first flake falls. Crews will first focus on making 1st and 2nd priority routes passable, and then move into residential streets.
Customers can get more information and updates on road conditions and the City's snow management efforts at www.comosnow.com and on the Public Works Facebook and Twitter pages.