Public Works Focuses on Snow Operations

The City of Sedalia Public Works Department is preparing for a snow event with blustery winds and extremely cold temperatures over the balance of this week, Dec. 21 through Dec. 24, 2022. With predicted low temperatures overnight Thurs., reaching -7F and 2F as the high temperature on Fri., the City is canceling trash operations for this Fri., Dec. 23, 2022. With wind chills late Thurs. night into Fri. morning forecast as low as 35 degrees below zero, the safety of Sanitation workers in these temperatures is of concern. Fri. customers’ trash will be picked up on Mon., Dec. 26, 2022. Regular trash collections will resume on Tues., Dec. 27, 2022. Additionally, Sedalia Water advises citizens to let their cold water drip from the faucet as running water through the pipe — even at a trickle — helps prevent pipes from freezing during extreme low temperatures.

Wind gusts are predicted in excess of 40 miles per hour during the peak of this winter storm, which will result in limited visibility. Citizens who routinely park their cars along streets and alleys should be aware these high winds have the potential to dislodge weak or damaged branches from trees adjacent to parked cars. When parking citizens may want to avoid areas directly under or around trees.

The weather forecast also includes between 4 and 5 inches of snow. Residents are reminded that when more than 2 inches of snow/sleet/ice is expected within a 24-hour period, the City declares a snow emergency and the Emergency Snow Routes are put into effect. Parking is prohibited along Emergency Snow Routes once the snow emergency occurs. Emergency Snow Routes help improve traffic flow after a snowstorm or significant icing by declaring a parking ban along the designated routes to expedite snow or ice clearing. The Street crews work to keep these designated streets as clear as possible to allow for emergency vehicle use.

The map below details which city streets are designed Emergency Snow Routes as well as those designated by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT).

A map highlighting the emergency snow routes in Sedalia, MO

Priority 1 plowing ensures the Emergency Snow Routes are passable for first responders. Priority 2 plowing will typically begin with more than 4″ of snow accumulation to ensure that residential streets are passable to emergency services and the general public as necessary upon completion of Priority 1. Residents should be aware the City does not immediately plow residential streets and alleys. With over 140 miles of City streets to plow, the first focus is on clearing emergency snow routes, and then working with the Sanitation Department on those alleys that are used for garbage collection.

During snow events, Public Works frequently receives calls from residents asking why snow plows leave snow deposited at the end of their driveways or on sidewalks. Snow plows are designed to push snow to the side. Snow then is deposited at the end of driveways and onto sidewalks as a byproduct of plowing the street. Drivers plow at low speeds (10-15 mph) to minimize this issue, but this problem becomes more challenging when there are larger accumulations of snow. For the same reason, snow ends up in driveways and sidewalks, it also ends up in street intersections. Plow drivers do their best to keep these piles (or windrows) small, but their first job is to get the street passable. Once streets have been plowed, crews come back and knock these windrows down as time allows.

The City encourages everyone to check for current travel conditions at MoDOT’s “Traveler Info Map” available at their website