MUSCATINE, Iowa – A Winter Storm Warning has been issued for Muscatine and the surrounding area as a storm that is expected to drop six- to 12-inches of heavy wet snow Monday and Tuesday approaches.
The National Weather Service out of the Quad Cities forecasts that the heaviest snowfall is expected to fall between 3 p.m. Monday and 9 a.m. Tuesday. The storm is expected to arrive in the Muscatine area between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. Monday.
Department of Public Works (DPW) staff will be meeting Monday morning to develop the plan of attack for this storm.
“We are closely monitoring the forecast,” Brian Stineman, Public Works Director, said. “All our equipment and staff are ready to go.”
City crews will be out Monday morning to pretreat the streets and begin snowplow operations Monday afternoon. The five snow emergency routes will be cleared first followed by the Downtown District, residential streets, and then the alleys.
“We will adjust our snow removal efforts as necessary to provide the safest road conditions possible for the traveling public,” Stineman said. “As always we advise drivers to slow down and use extra caution when driving in winter weather conditions.”
PUBLIC CAN HELP IN SNOW REMOVAL OPERATION
Residents are urged to find off-street parking when possible starting Monday afternoon and continuing through at least Thursday to assist in the timely and safe removal of the snow from city streets.
“Residents can assist with snow removal operations by not parking on the street during this snow event,” Stineman said.
If off-street parking is not an option, residents can use the “alternate side of street” parking plan that is specified in the City of Muscatine Snow Emergency Ordinance.
The “alternate side of parking” plan allows vehicles to be parked on the odd-numbered side of the street on odd-numbered days, and on the even-numbered side of the street on even-numbered days.
For example, since Monday is an odd-numbered day, parking would be acceptable on the odd-numbered side of the street. Vehicles parked on the odd-side on Monday should be moved to the opposite side on Tuesday since Tuesday is an even-numbered day with parking acceptable on the even-numbered side of the street.
On all streets where parking is allowed on one side only, if the permitted side (where parking is allowed) is even numbered, vehicles can park on that side only on even-numbered days. If the permitted side (where parking is allowed) is odd-numbered, vehicles can park on that side only on odd-numbered days.
No parking is ever allowed on the side of the street where parking is prohibited by posted sign.
SNOW REMOVAL FROM SIDEWALKS AND DRIVEWAYS
While the City works to clear streets, alleys, and parking lots of snow and ice, it is the responsibility of property owners to clear their sidewalks. The benefits of clearing sidewalks include reducing the potential for pedestrian falls while traversing the property, and clearing a safe path for public safety personnel if they are needed at the property.
Section 3-1-4 of the Muscatine City Code states that property owners are responsible for clearing natural accumulations of snow and ice from the sidewalks within 24 hours after the last snowfall. If the property owner does not clear the sidewalk in a reasonable time, the City will attempt to notify the property owner to remove the snow and ice. If the City clears the snow and ice, the property owner will be assessed the costs of removal.
Contractors or individuals working to clear sidewalks and driveways of snow and ice accumulations are reminded that depositing snow and ice accumulations upon city streets is a violation of City Ordinance 3-1-7 (D) Dumping of Snow.
Whether you are shoveling, using a snow blower, or utilizing a snow plow, the placement of snow and ice accumulations is required to be on the property of the residence or business, and not pushed or thrown onto city streets.
AVOIDING THE SECOND PLOW
There is a way that the public can help prevent the buildup of ice and snow in front of their drives and that is by clearing an area to the left of the driveway as pictured to the left in this graphic from the Maine Department of Transportation.
Since plows push the snow to the right as they move down the street, having an area cleared for the snow and ice to be deposited prevents that buildup in front of the driver, thus preventing a “second shovel”.
WHAT IS A SNOW EMERGENCY?
“At this time I do not expect to issue a snow emergency,” Stineman said. “However, depending on how much snow we receive, an emergency may be issued to allow for pushback of snow to the curb and cleanup of residential areas after the main snow event has concluded.”
A Snow Emergency, also known as “emergency snow removal operation”, is nothing more than the enforcement of an established plan for on-street parking that allows the Department of Public Works (DPW) the ability to quickly and safely remove snow from Muscatine streets, alleys, and city owned parking lots.
“As always, we encourage everyone who can to use off-street parking so that the plows can access the whole street,” Stineman said. “Remember to slow down, drive carefully, and enjoy the snow.”
Visit Snow & Ice Control on the City of Muscatine website for more information.
As we move into the winter season, residents can be better prepared for hazardous conditions by visiting the National Weather Service Winter Safety page.
If you are travelling plan extra travel time, drive slower and more cautiously, bundle up, and check the following links for road conditions: