Preparations underway for this week’s potential winter storm arrival

[City of Muscatine]

The Department of Public Works was out coating the streets of Muscatine with brine in anticipation of a potential winter storm that could move into the area Wednesday night through Saturday.

“Crews were out today spreading salt and brine on city streets,” Brian Stineman, Public Works Director said. “This storm, if it arrives as currently forecasted, has the potential to bring a lot of snow and high winds into the area.”

The National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Watch for Muscatine County at 2:42 p.m. Monday indicating that heavy snow is possible with accumulations of 5-10 inches and wind gusts as high as 50 mph. Blizzard conditions will also be possible with extreme cold wind chills as well. The watch is in effect from late Wednesday night through late Friday night.

Very cold temperatures will also arrive late in the week and, combined with the wind, could create wind chill values dropping to as low as 25 to 35 below at times.

Stineman indicated that there is a potential for the City of Muscatine to declare a Snow Emergency, which would be the first under the revised Snow Emergency Ordinance.

“We will be watching the weather forecast and will make a decision Wednesday afternoon,” Stineman said. “We do urge residents to make preparations and locate off-street parking for their vehicles as the storm arrives.”

According to the revised code, when weather conditions warrant the declaration of a snow emergency motor traffic will be expedited and parking on City of Muscatine streets will be prohibited or restricted for snow plowing and other purposes. Public notice will be provided prior to the implementation of a Snow Emergency declaration.

During a declared snow emergency, no person shall park, or allow to remain parked, any vehicle on any portion of a Snow Emergency route. Here is a MAP of the Snow Emergency routes.

Once a Snow Emergency ends there is still the possibility of parking restrictions as Department of Public Works crews push back the snow to the curb.

The Snow Push Back policy would be implemented, if needed, once snow removal operations are complete to the appropriate levels of service on all Class I, Class II, and Class III roadways. See SNOW AND ICE CONTROL POLICY for the classifications of different roadways.

Residents will be provided 24-hour notice prior to the implementation of the Snow Push Back policy’s odd-even parking plan. See SNOW PUSH BACK POLICY for more information on parking restrictions.

The National Weather Service reminds residents that travel could be difficult with widespread blowing snow that could significantly reduce visibility. The cold wind chills as low as 30 below zero could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.