Good morning everybody,
As another winter storm approaches the area, Street Maintenance is just wrapping up our work from the latest storm. At this time all City streets are clear and completely passable. Crews treated some areas of lingering ice this morning and will continue to monitor for these conditions throughout the morning. Please keep in mind that some ice still remains, and even having been treated with cinders, caution must be taken during your commute to work, or school this morning.
As for the approaching storm, current forecasts are indicating a rather intense snow event Wednesday, with accumulations between 5:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. of nearly 7 inches, with an additional 4 ½ inches between 5:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.. Along with the heavy snowfall, there is the potential for wind gusts as high as 47 mph during the same period of time. This will create blizzard like conditions, with very low visibility, snow packed roadways, and of course extremely difficult if not impossible travel conditions. This will also make it difficult for plow operators during clearing efforts.
We also ask that, if you do not absolutely have to travel, please don’t. This helps to keep traffic volumes lower, which helps our plowing operations be more effective. This also helps emergency service crews with lower call volume and faster response times. If you must travel, please remember these tips; SLOW DOWN, allow at least 6 car lengths between you and the vehicles ahead of you. Allow for plenty of extra time to travel to your destination. Allow plenty of extra braking distance when approaching intersections and brake gently. Also accelerate gently when entering an intersection or ascending up a hill, or incline in the roadway. We again ask that, if you get stuck in the snow or ice, that you DO NOT ABANDON your vehicle. Please turn on your hazard lights, exit the vehicle to a safe distance, and call for a tow truck or some other means of removing your vehicle from the roadway. Leaving a vehicle in the roadway creates a hazard for other travelers, emergency service vehicles, and plow trucks alike.
As with any storm event of this magnitude, we ask that you prepare by stocking up on the essentials. This would include at least three days’ worth of food and water, and be sure to have all critical prescription medications filled and at hand. Also keep all your electronic devices fully charged, have extra blankets available, and if possible an alternate source of heat, such as firewood, or an INDOOR APPROVED non electric type heater.
While these are just forecast indicators, it seems that most of the weather forecasting outlets, including the NWS are in agreement on this storm event, lending credence to snow totals, wind gusts, and temperatures forecast for this storm event. Again, we ask that if you have off street parking please use it. Side street parking, particularly on the local residential streets makes it very difficult for the plows to maneuver around, and could result in damage to your vehicle and/or the snow plow. Remember, please do not attempt to pass a snowplow while it is actively plowing and/or applying cinders. Always try to stay at least 100 feet behind it.
We will as always, be updating road conditions as well as plowing progress, here twice daily once crews are actively working this storm system. And of course, we thank you for your continued cooperation during these winter storm events.
Brian Scott, Street Maintenance Superintendent