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Emergency Snow Ordinance enacted as wintery mix is expected for New Year's Day


WARRENSBURG — The City of Warrensburg has announced a Phase 1 Emergency Snow Ordinance will be in effect from 10 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 31 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 2. 

A press release states the ordinance is in place due to forecasted weather events, including freezing rain, sleet and snow.

The city advises that all vehicles be parked off-street, if feasible, to prevent the possibility of damage due to the forecasted ice storm. Regulations regarding no parking in Cul-de-sac’s will also be in effect.

The National Weather Service is calling for a chance of snow followed by a wintery mix Thursday evening and a wintery mix all-day Friday with a high of 32 degrees. 

“We monitor it based on the forecast that we receive and then we kinda react to it accordingly,” Public Works Senior Project Manager William Graves said. “Obviously (we) keep a close tab on the weather. And then if (Street Operations Manager Dave McCanon) chooses, he will, we will implement a pre-treatment depending on the type of weather we’re gonna get.” 

The street crew hits the main roads and emergency snow routes first before moving on to residential and side roads. 

“What I would consider main arterials or main thoroughfares that not only do the majority of people in the community use but also it’s for emergency services … emergency services has to go wherever they need to go, but they at least know that those routes are clear,” Graves said. 

Parking on emergency snow routes while an Emergency Snow Ordinance is in effect is prohibited. Emergency snow routes are designated and signage is posted. 

The street crew works to notify vehicle owners to move a vehicle. If an owner is not located and the vehicle is not moved, the vehicle can be towed. 

“It becomes difficult for us, as we’re out there moving snow and trying to treat those areas, to stop and call in to find out whose vehicle it is,” Graves said. “The last thing we want to do is tow someone’s vehicle. We go to great pains to find out whose vehicle it is. The last resort is to have a vehicle towed off.” 

City ordinance states residents and businesses are responsible for clearing sidewalks on their property. 

Graves recommends that as people are clearing their driveways, to push the snow off to one side, not onto the road, as the plow trucks will throw the snow back onto the drive as they pass by. 

Graves said people should try to stay home as much as possible unless absolutely necessary and drivers should be cautious while operating a vehicle and carry emergency preparedness items in the event they get stranded. 

“Usually as the storm progresses we’re out there, obviously, treating it as it happens,” Graves said. “Whether it be freezing rain or snow. That’s kind of our plan. We’ve got to go through the same thing each and every time. Some storms are worse than others so we always gear up for the worst or expect the worst. If less happens, we’re happy about that. But we have plenty of (de-icing) material on hand.”