The City’s Declaration of Emergency ordered by Mayor Mike Woolston on Tuesday, Feb. 1, has been lifted. City officials still encourage residents to stay off of the roads, if they can, to allow emergency response vehicles to move through the City safely. If residents have to be out, officials remind them to be cautious as they travel. The main arterial and collector streets are snow covered, so it is advised that people allow extra time in the event that they must travel.
With 19 inches of snowfall on the ground due to the recent blizzard, the City has plowed the main arterial and collectors streets and now is addressing the compacted snow along residential streets.
“The first priority was to clear the main roads in order for emergency response vehicles to maneuver safely through the City,” said Mark Rohr, City Manager. “Now that the initial work has been completed, we are moving into the residential areas to compact the snow in an effort to create a path to allow travel in emergency situations. Plus, many businesses are beginning to open and residents are being called back to work.”
The City typically does not snow plow residential streets due to the significant number of linear miles of streets (approximately 400, in which 75% are residential) in Joplin, as well as for the fact of creating large snow banks along the driveways and parked cars on these streets. However, under this unusual circumstance, City officials recognize the need to provide some effort to compact the snow to address emergency vehicle access, as well as to assist residents in moving out of the residential areas onto the main streets that have been plowed.
Public Works Director David Hertzberg noted that this work in residential areas is a new approach in addressing specific needs in the neighborhoods. The City has temporarily secured three additional motor graders to add to their snow removal fleet.
“Our usual procedures are being adjusted to address the needs identified by this large snowfall,” said Hertzberg. “With this one-time effort, we have added approximately 300 linear miles of residential streets that our crews are working on. We do appreciate everyone’s patience in this effort.”
During the first day of this operation, approximately 15% of residential streets have been addressed.
“In a best case scenario, we hope to increase this pace,” said Hertzberg. “We are working throughout the City with these additional motor graders. Residents should be aware that this is a slow process, as well as somewhat problematic. We encourage residents to move their cars off of the streets, if at all possible, as that would make access to the street easier for these large vehicles to maneuver through the narrower residential streets.”
Joplin’s Public Safety personnel worked throughout the blizzard conditions earlier this week, and assisted stranded motorists and other needs of travelers. Joplin Police Chief Lane Roberts reported that 122 vehicles were stranded along I-44 on Tuesday, with JPD and other emergency agencies providing rescue assistance to the motorists and passengers. These crews have continued to provide assistance to numerous other motorist problems caused by the weather conditions.
Thursday, February 03, 2011
City of Joplin's emergency declaration lifted
The following news release was just issued by the city of Joplin: