'We expect you to stay home:' Cedar Falls defends not plowing - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

'We expect you to stay home:' Cedar Falls defends not plowing

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) - While some cities cleaned the streets around the clock Sunday, others took a different approach.

Cedar Falls city plows weren't on the roads from about noon to 11 p.m. Sunday night -- eleven hours of not plowing the streets, even while several inches of snow continued to blow across the roads.

It's a decision officials with the streets department say is different with every storm.

Brian Heath, Cedar Falls' Public Works Manager, says his plow drivers needed to rest and to regroup. That's why they weren't on the roads for 11 hours Sunday afternoon into the evening.

That, and the City of Cedar Falls had declared a snow emergency, said Heath.

"The bottom line is, if you're told to stay home, we expect you to stay home," said Heath of Cedar Falls residents.

Heath says every storm is different, and they look at multiple things before deploying plows.

"We looked at all of the factors affecting our decisions -- the wind speed, the duration of the snow, the time of the day -- all of those things factor in," he said.

On Sunday, only 0.6 inches of snow fell after the noon hour, but winds were still blowing what already fell at roughly 25 miles an hour.

"If we know we're going to get an 8-, 9-, 10-inch snowfall, it doesn't make any sense for us to go out and plow residential streets when we've only had three inches into the snowfall," said Heath. 

The Cedar Falls Public Works department clears 200 miles of roads. Heath says they had all roads cleared by 6:30 a.m. Monday.

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