Preparing for the Snow - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Preparing for the Snow

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Public Works crews have been hard at work preparing for the weather ahead. It is all about getting the resources available in place and in motion when they can do the most good.

Case in point: Davenport, which has spent much of today putting its plan in place.

This set of circumstances presents a special challenge when it comes to clearing the streets.

With the weather we're talking about, right now, it's a game of waiting and watching, to get crews out as this rain is beginning to turn to ice.

Too soon and the rain will wash any salt used to pre-treat the roads away; Too late and the coming snow will be accumulating on a base layer of solid ice.

"So this is a very delicate task to dance with Mother Nature to figure out exactly when that time is going to be," Mike Clarke, Davenport's Public Works Director, said.

If these conditions sound like De Ja Vu to you, you are not alone. This is very similar to the conditions we saw leading into the last major snow storm we had at the end of December.

Public Works crews are taking the lessons learned from that storm - and applying it to their response this time around.

"What we learned from the December 20th storm is that timing is critical, so that we are out there in as many locations as we possibly can be in when that change takes place, so that we get that salt down as quickly as possible," Clarke said.

Tuesday night, Davenport's entire fleet of snow plows was fueled up and filled with salt - just waiting to be sent out when the conditions are right.

A Public Works supervisor was scheduled to be in at midnight to start monitoring the situation and call in crews when the time comes.

But, despite the small window where pre-treating the roads would make a difference, the city can't put all of its resources out on the roads all at once.

"There's only so many people, and so you can't put everybody in on the first day and then keep them there, because then you run out of people for the second night," Clarke explained.

That is where planning out resources ahead of time comes in handy.

Based on the battle plans drawn up in a meeting Tuesday afternoon, there should be about a two hour overlap when the A-team and B-team and the crews pulled in from other divisions in the public works will all be on together.

In all, that means about 60 pieces of snow removal equipment on the road at the same time.

Anybody who is going to be sharing the roads with those snow crews is urged to heed some simple advice: Give them space, and let them do their jobs.

"Be patient with everybody around you. Be a good driver. Be a good neighbor," Clarke said.

The City of davenport has already declared a snow emergency - effective from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday.

That means anyone who lives on an emergency snow route has to park off the street.

In fact, everyone is asked to find off street parking if possible.

If you have to park on the street, you are asked to park only on the even side.

There are a lot of narrow streets in Davenport, where if cars are parked on both sides, snow plows cannot get through.

Blue Grass has also declared a "weather emergency". It is in effect from midnight Wednesday through Thursday at 12 a.m.