City Prepares For Snowy Driving Conditions


November 13, 2014  – Ottumwa, Iowa – With the first measurable snow in the forecast, Ottumwa residents are being reminded about how City snow removal affects traffic and parking in the community.   The amount of snowfall, how fast it comes and the time of day all factor into snow removal.   Drivers motorists should be aware that snow plow drivers cannot see directly behind their trucks and often need to stop or back up.   Keep a safe distance away from working snowplows.

For light snows, the main focus is on clearing main traffic routes and performing ice control on hills, intersections and bridges.   Side streets may not be thoroughly plowed if the snow is very light and temperatures sufficient to melt the snow are in the immediate forecast.

For deeper snow, the City may declare a “Snow  Emergency.”    The Snow Emergency Ordinance designates a number of  streets as snow emergency routes.   If a Snow Emergency is declared by the City, no parking is allowed on either side of the snow route streets until the emergency is lifted.   This allows plow crew to remove snow “curb to curb” on the snow routes.  The snow route streets are marked with square blue signs showing a white snowflake and the words “Snow Route.”    When the City’s Snow Emergency Ordinance is declared in effect, vehicles parked out of compliance with the Ordinance are subject to beingtowed and impounded and a citation will be issued and fee charged for towing and impoundment.

Parking on non-snow emergency routes, where vehicles are allowed to park on both sides or just one side of the street, the following parking policy will be as follows; on the even numbered days of the month, parking will be allowed on the even numbered side of the street, on the odd numbered days of the month, parking will be allowed on the odd numbered side of the street.  Drivers can begin moving their cars to the opposite side of the street at 7:00 PM to comply with the side designated for the next day. 

Snow Emergency declarations are officially announced through the local media, the City of Ottumwa website at, on the “City of Ottumwa, Iowa” Facebook page and on GOTV Cable Channel 6.    Any declaration will be announced between 7 AM and 10 PM and becomes effective two hours after the announcement.