The city of Maryville's maintenance garage on North Newton Street was a busy place Tuesday as members of the eight-member municipal street crew prepared snow plows and other heavy equipment for tonight's predicted winter storm.
Thanks to a winter that, so far, has yielded some cold weather but little snow and ice, Street Superintendent Jay Cacek said the city has a full supply of Geomelt on hand. The concoction of salt and sugar beet juice melts ice at lower temperatures than rock salt and is also less corrosive, which makes it easier on both automobiles and pavement.
Cacek said the city has stockpiled about 400 tons of Geomelt, which he expects to be ample to handle a severe late-winter storm.
City workers also took time this week to install tire chains and check out other pieces of gear in order to avoid delays once the snow starts to fly.
Maryville's winter storm fleet includes three "salt trucks" used to clear streets and lay down Geomelt as well as four newer dump trucks, which are also equipped with snow plows. In addition, the arsenal comprises two graders, two loaders and a giant snowblower.
Cacek said that if the storm develops as expected, snow will start falling heavily around 1 a.m. Thursday before tapering off at mid-morning. Forecasters believe lighter snow will continue to come down into the evening with a total accumulation of anywhere between six and 14 inches.
That means the city's snow route system could go into effect sometime during the pre-dawn hours on Thursday.
Consisting mostly of major arteries, snow routes are the first city streets cleared. Residents who park along these thoroughfares must move their vehicles whenever a snow emergency is declared. Cars and trucks left at the curb will be plowed in and are subject to towing.
For a city snow routes map, go to www.maryville.org/pView.aspx?id=22801&catid=506.
If the snow materializes, Cacek said he and his crew will work to have all snow routes and the downtown square cleared early in the morning before moving on to secondary residential streets.
Since some of the heaviest snowfall could coincide with the morning commute to work, Cacek urged any drivers on the road at that time to stay well clear of city trucks as they move through town. He also asked residents to understand that clearing the streets following what could be the heaviest snowfall of 2013 would take some time.
"I've only got seven guys, and we can only stay out so long before getting some rest and going back out, so please be patient with us," he said.
After the snow routes and secondary streets are cleared, the crew's third priority will be getting snow off the runway and taxiway at Northwest Missouri Regional Airport west of town.
Page 2 of 2 - In addition to initial heavy snowfall, Cacek he and his crew are also bracing for problems with drifting, since forecasters are predicting the storm will include gusting winds of up to 20 mph.
Maryville snow routes: During a snow emergency, parking vehicles is prohibited on the following streets:
• Jenkins from Buchanan to Market
• 1st from Buchanan to Depot
• 2nd from Fillmore to Vine
• 3rd from Fillmore to Vine
• 4th from Dunn to Vine Street
• 5th from Fillmore to Vine
• 6th Street from Fillmore Street to Vine Street
• 7th from Depot to 415 feet west of Walnut
• Fillmore from 2nd to 7th
• Buchanan from Lincoln to 7th
• Vine from 1st to 5th
• College Ave. from Dunn to Country Club
• Prather Ave. from Walnut to North College
• Edwards from Munn to Laura
• Halsey from Laura to Depot
• Lincoln from Main to Walnut
• Country Club from 1st to College Ave.
• Munn Ave. from College to Route V
• Market from South Ave. to 7th
• North College from 16th to NWMSU
• Laura from 7th to Halsey
• Depot from 1st to Halsey
• Davis from Edwards to 7th
• Market from South Ave. to 7th
• All of Main Street
• All of South Ave.
• Walnut from Lincoln to South Ave.