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Columbia Public Works has crews ready to clear the roads ahead of Tuesday night’s snowstorm


The City of Columbia is preparing for winter weather that is expected to impact Mid-Missouri Tuesday Night through Wednesday.

The department has a 21-person Public Works crew that reported at 7 p.m. Tuesday night. The crew will begin its winter weather response by applying pretreatment to roadways.

Salt brine will be applied during the pretreatment process, with special attention being given to bridges, curves, hills and intersections.

"Until midnight, they'll be doing pre-treatments," Columbia Public Works spokesperson John Ogan said.

ABC 17 News Stormtrack Weather team predicts that rain will head towards Mid-Missouri Tuesday evening before turning to snow around midnight.

"When midnight comes around and the snow starts to pile up, they'll be plowing priority roads," Ogan said.

Once pavements become covered with plowable snow, the department will deploy snowplow crews. Crews will be focused on priority roads first, followed by second- and third-priority roads.

Priority roads and snow routes include bus routes and streets that connect the community to schools, hospitals and other necessary areas.

The City of Columbia is responsible for roughly 1,400 lane miles in the city, with roughly half of them being priority roads according to Ogan.

The city has an ordinance in effect that requires people living on emergency snow routes to move their vehicles if the snow reaches two or more inches. You can find out if you live on a snow route here, and also sign up for text alerts that let you know when the snow reaches two inches.

The city asks residents to avoid traveling, if possible. If you must travel, the city is asking drivers to drive slowly, keep headlights on at all times, and keep plenty of following distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you.

Ogan advises drivers to give snow plow drivers plenty of room.

"If you encounter a snow plow when you're out on the roads, give it extra room as well," Ogan said. "Don't try to pass it, just drive behind the plow, let it do the work, and perhaps enjoy the road that the plow has begun to make more clear."

Ogan gave some praise to Columbia drivers.

"They're very good about not parking on roadways, and staying home unless it's absolutely necessary," Ogan said. "We hope to see more of that from the community for this particular winter weather event."

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Marina Diaz

Marina is a Multimedia Journalist for ABC 17 News, she is originally from Denver, Colorado. She went to Missouri Valley College where she played lacrosse and basketball, and anchored her school’s newscast.


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