Coming off another round of winter weather over the weekend, Jefferson City Public Works crews face another winter storm forecast tonight into Wednesday morning.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the National Weather Service Office in St. Louis is predicting a 50 percent chance of snow, mainly after 4 p.m., in the Jefferson City area. As the evening starts, snow, possibly mixed with freezing rain, is expected fall and then transition to freezing rain after approximately 3 a.m. The amount of ice accumulation is predicted to be less than a tenth of an inch, and snowfall could total 1-3 inches.
Jefferson City road crews are prepared to go out again if needed, after efforts to pre-treat roads before the most recent storm began Friday morning.
"It's a lot of extra work for our crews, both physically and taking time away from their families, but it is part of the job," Public Works Director Matt Morasch said. "It gets a little weary, and I know they — and all of us — are ready for spring to get here this year."
Morasch said they will follow up to determine how much Friday's storm cost in terms of man hours and supplies.
"We do have enough in the budget to cover that storm and this next," Morasch said. "There is no typical storm. We could go from having to spend $20,000-$30,000 to as much as $180,000 like we did in a storm last month.
"On Friday, we used more chemicals than we did in the big storm last month, while our man hours were down from the January storm."
As winter ends, Morasch said, the city's Public Works Department looks at how full its salt bends are to determine how much funding for supplies to request from the City Council.
"This year, the price will probably increase because so many places have had significant storms to deal with this season," Morasch said. "The price decreased last year because, after a few years of not-so-bad winters, the supplies had built up."
"Our guys did a good job on Friday so that people could get around on Saturday," Morasch added. "I think it's a good investment for our community to be able to provide the service like we have."
This article was edited at 1 p.m. Feb. 19, 2019, with updated forecast information.