COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The season's first significant wave of winter weather is expected to hit Mid-Missouri on Thursday, bringing widespread snowfall and extreme cold temperatures.
As people get ready to travel for the holidays, the City of Columbia Public Works is preparing to respond to the roads appropriately.
Department spokesman John Ogan said Monday that the city is monitoring the forecast as it gets closer to Thursday. He says making the right calls will depend on timing and the amount of precipitation Mid-Missouri will receive.
Ogan says, for this upcoming winter the city has:
- Salt dome capacity: 5,000 tons of salt
- 50 available snow plow drivers
- 17 available fleet workers
- 27 active city-owned snow-plowing vehicles
In case of 2 or more inches of snow accumulation vehicles must be moved off first- and second-priority roads so snow plow drivers can do their jobs quickly and safely. The city has an online map that shows the location of each type of street.
It's not clear yet how much snow will fall but forecasts indicate it could be several inches.
Another way to be prepared for winter weather in Mid-Missouri is Boone County Ready.
Boone County Ready is a campaign that enhances community preparedness for emergencies and disasters by sending notifications to cellphones or emails with messages about severe weather, traffic alerts, emergency notifications and emergency preparedness.
Temperatures are also expected to drop below 0 degrees with wind chills possibly as low as minus 20 degrees or lower which can lead to pipes bursting.
Matt Nestor with the Columbia Utility Department says to avoid frozen pipes you should:
- Leave a faucet running at a fast drip to a slight trickle (moving water will transfer heat from the ground to the pipe to help prevent it from freezing)
- Open cabinet doors under sinks to allow warm air to circulate if plumbing runs though unheated areas
- Keep the thermostat set at the same temperature during the day and night
- Leave the thermostat no lower than 60 degrees if you will be away
- Leave the garage door closed if it is attached to your home
In case of burst pipes:
- Turn off the water supply
- Drain the raps. Flush the toilet multiple times to relieve pressure on the system
- Locate the lead and learn areas affected by the leak
- Call a professional plumber