"Snow Emergency" defined differently by each city - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

"Snow Emergency" defined differently by each city

by John Wilmer

WATERLOO (KWWL) - You've seen them scrolling at the bottom of the screen for days now... many Eastern Iowa towns have made the declarations, leaving some residents wondering, just what a snow emergency means.

Every community is different when it comes to a snow emergency. Many cities have a schedule for odd/even days and parking so the plows don't have any obstructions when they go though but in Waterloo that's not the case and that's why it's important to keep up on what your city demands of you in the winter.

It is up to officers like Barry Stratton of Waterloo's code enforcement to make sure when a snow emergency is called people know what to do.

"On arterial streets priority one streets cars need to be removed with in 24 hours," said Stratton.

When a snow emergency is called in Waterloo people can still park on both sides of the streets they just have to make sure to move their cars in a timely manner.

"Our parking policy in the city is that vehicles need to move off a city block every 48 hours," said Stratton. "So if it snows today vehicles should be removed in a couple of days or 48 hours so that plows can get through."

The city of Dubuque has chosen to only allow cars to park on the odd or even sides of the street depending on the day. To allow for more parking the city has opened it's parking ramps to the public.

The city of Cedar Rapids also has alternate side parking so the plows have more room to clear the streets. However this does not apply to metered parking areas like those downtown.

The city of Iowa City has yet to declare a snow emergency but they will also use alternate side of the street parking. To make sure residents know what is happening city officials say they will give a minimum of four hours notice before enforcement begins.

Another issue that all cities are having to deal with the size of the snow piles at intersections. In Waterloo there is no height limit. They just ask you to knock it over when it becomes an obstruction to other drivers.

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

Online Producer: Dani Blecha

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