With the potential for another significant snow storm this weekend, public works crews are preparing for what, as of Thursday, looks to be not as strong as last weekend's storm.
"We're going to act like it will be a fairly sizable event," Jefferson City Operations Director Britt Smith said. "We've been checking out equipment through the week. Our front-end equipment held up better than expected. It is getting older, and we worked them hard because we ran non-stop for three days. That's hard on anything even if it is brand new."
The National Weather Service in St. Louis forecast rain falling tonight through early Saturday morning when the precipitation is expected to change to snow; the snow is expected to continue through Saturday. Snowfall totals were predicted to be between 1-3 inches.
In anticipation of the storm, city and county officials offered snow removal advice for residents.
"We want to remind people in the county that when they clear driveways, they should not push the snow into the street," Cole County Public Works Director Larry Benz said. "If someone came and hit that, the fault would be on the landowner for putting an obstruction in the road. Also, we ask that they park in the driveway, if they have one, so we don't have trucks dodging vehicles, especially in cul de sacs."
Jefferson City officials also wanted to remind property owners and residents to remove snow and ice from public sidewalks adjacent to their properties to help pedestrians.
Residents should place the snow and ice away from vehicle and pedestrian travel ways. If a fire hydrant is adjacent to your property, the city asks residents to ensure it remains uncovered by snow and ice.
"Not only is it the neighborly thing to do, it's a civic and legal responsibility under the city's code of ordinances," a news release states.
During the winter, the Salvation Army is the primary warming center in the city. The flow of people coming to the facility the past several days has picked up due to the cold weather.
Corp Officer Lt. Rachel White said people can't stay all day at the center, but they do allow them to be there for about an hour so they can warm up.
White said the shelter has been running at full or near capacity for the last year and a half, with people coming in and out frequently. But, when it gets bitterly cold like what is in the forecast for this weekend, they do have the ability to allow more people to stay overnight.
They have the ability to put in 40 cots — 20 for men and 20 for women. They do that when temperatures go below 40 degrees. When it gets to 32 and below, they open up the dining hall, which could hold up to another 50 people.
"We try to use as much space as possible," White said. "We just want people to be safe."