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There are several ways to find out when snow emergency has been declared by the City of Storm Lake. The City maintains a 24 hour hotline that contains the current status of a snow emergency in both English and Spanish at 712-213-SNOW (7669). You can also check the current status online by going to the City's Snow Emergency webpage at www.213snow.com. Finally you can sign up for instant notifications through Wireless Emergency Notification System (WENS)
We wish we had enough snowplows and drivers to take care of every street right away, but our resources are limited and so we must adhere to a carefully laid out system for clearing the streets. If we allowed our plows to be diverted each time a special request was made, our system would be destroyed and it would take far longer to get all the streets in the city cleared. To keep our snow removal operations as effective and efficient as possible, plows are not permitted to deviate from their assigned routes. Arterial streets have first priority for snow plowing. The remainder of the streets is then plowed after the snow subsides.
There are approximately 3,000+ driveways in the city. If we used all of our plows and spent just 60 seconds per driveway, it would take several days to clean driveways alone. One thing you can do to minimize the problem is to pile snow that has been shoveled from the driveway on the downstream side of the driveway. Then if the snowplow hits the pile, it will be moved onto the grass or sidewalk, not back into your driveway. The Streets Division crews do not come back and plow out any driveways.
Streets and alleys in the central business district are treated differently from other snow and ice control operations because snow storage within the street and alley rights-of-way are not desirable. Snow plowing procedures are utilized only to the extent that storage of snow along the traveled portion of the roadway will not inhibit vehicle movement in and out of parking stalls.
When snow removal operations begin, streets and alleys in and near the central business area are sanded and salted, if deemed necessary. Snow will be hauled from the area after the clearing operations are completed. Snow hauling operations normally commence during night-time hours only when the storm has subsided will daytime plowing be considered. Daytime plowing is hazardous to the public and public services employees.
Under ideal circumstances, we can predict fairly accurately when we will have streets in various sections of the City plowed. As weather conditions change we often must alter our snow-fighting strategy in the midst of the snow removal operations in order to control drifting snow, ice or other special problems. We cannot give you an estimate of when your street will be cleared due to ever-changing weather conditions.
As we plow from curb to curb to provide for safe vehicular flow and mail delivery, snow may inadvertently fall onto the sidewalk. Unfortunately, there are a number of locations in the city where the park area is very narrow and the plowed snow covers the sidewalks. Some have suggested that the plows should go through these areas at a slower speed so the snow will not be thrown onto the sidewalks. However, the plows must maintain a certain speed in order to keep the snow from sticking onto the blades of the plow.
The potential for a medical emergency does not warrant priority treatment. Anyone needing an ambulance in a medical emergency should contact the Communications Center where all necessary steps will be coordinated.
The Central Business District is signed for no parking between 2a.m. and 6 a.m. during a snow emergency and 10p.m. through 6a.m. in the residential areas. Any vehicles remaining on the streets during the snow emergency will be towed. Vehicles may be ticketed more frequently during winter months to ensure that plows are able to plow streets adequately. Anyone leaving town for an extended time (holidays, Spring break) should find suitable off-street parking to avoid ticketing and towing.
Our telephone lines are understandably jammed during severe weather conditions. We advise limiting your travel, or staying off the roads entirely if possible. Listen to television and radio bulletins about road conditions. Remember that we can only provide information about streets within the city limits. Our phone lines should be used primarily to alert us if a street has been missed or if there is some special problem relating to the snow removal operations.
resources are limited and so we must adhere to a carefully laid out system for clearing the streets. If we allowed our plows to be diverted each time a special request was made, our system would be destroyed and it would take far longer to get all the streets in the city cleared. To keep our snow removal operations as effective and efficient as possible, plows are not permitted to deviate from their assigned routes. Arterial streets have first priority for snow plowing. The remainder of the streets are then plowed after the snow subsides. The city has designated an emergency snow route where the primary design of the route is located so streets are within a 3-4 block distance to the emergency snow route