MUSCATINE, Iowa – A Winter Storm Warning for Muscatine and the surrounding around area went into effect at 9 a.m. Thursday (Feb. 4, 2021) and will continue through 6 a.m. Friday (Feb. 5, 2021). However, the effects of this latest winter storm may be felt through the weekend and into next week.
The event is shaping up similar to the one that swept through the area at the end of December with rain, changing to freezing rain and sleet, and then to all snow. The big difference will be the temperatures which are expected to rapidly fall later Thursday afternoon.
The Department of Public Works (DPW) is monitoring the weather conditions.
“With the rain and current temperatures applying the brine mixture is ineffective as it simply washes away,” Brian Stineman, DPW Director, said. “We will begin running the salt routes when the temperatures begin to fall and hope to have all streets treated before the changeover to snow.”
Drivers are advised to look for slick spots especially if the salt routes run behind schedule.
The rain had started to change over to sleet by midmorning as the fast moving Artic cold front moved closer to Muscatine. That front is expected to move through Muscatine shortly after 12 p.m.
While the area is forecasted to receive two- to five-inches of snow, it is the wind and extremely cold temperatures that pose the biggest danger. A flash freeze is anticipated on travel surfaces (wet road surfaces quickly freezing) by late afternoon. Low visibility is expected this afternoon and evening with winds between 25 to 35 mph and gusts up to 45 mph expected to create while out conditions especially in open areas. Dangerous wind chills are also anticipated.
DPW crews will be out working on the streets and alleys starting this afternoon and continue through the weekend as more snow is forecasted.
“With temperatures projected to be as low as 10 to 15 degrees below zero we do not expect much melting from the salt,” Stineman said. “If this is the case, the roads may be in rough condition for a period of time until we get sunshine and temperatures into the 20s to help melt the snow and ice.”
The public is reminded that off street parking is recommended and encouraged to assist the snow plow crews in efficiently and safely clearing the streets. Residents are also reminded to not place refuse and recycling bins in the street for collection. Refuse and recycling containers should be placed at the end of a residents driveway or on the sidewalk where they can still be reached by the collection trucks.
A video of the work done by snow plow crews during the January 26-27 snow event is available on the City of Muscatine YouTube channel or by clicking on this link https://youtu.be/esjxMxLy5u8.
PARKS AND RECREATION
Adult Volleyball League games scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 4, have been cancelled.
MUSSER LIBRARY CLOSING EARLY
The Musser Public Library and HNI Community Center is closing at 12 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, due to the incoming weather system. If the forecast holds, the Library will remain closed on Friday, Feb. 5, and resume normal hours on Saturday, Feb. 6.
BE PREPARED IF YOU HAVE TO TRAVEL
Make sure your car or vehicle has at least a half tank of gas during extreme cold situations so that you can stay warm if you become stranded. Also update your Winter Car Survival Kit to include the following:
- Jumper cables: flares or reflective triangle are great extras
- Flashlights: Replace the batteries before the winter season starts and pack some extras
- First Aid Kit: Also check your purse of bag for essential medications
- Baby, special needs gear: If you have a baby or family member with special needs, pack diapers and any special formula or food
- Food: Stock non-perishable food such as canned food and a can opener, dry cereal and protein rich foods like nuts and energy bars
- Water: Have at least 1 gallon of water per person a day for at least 3 days
- Basic toolkit: Pliers, wrench, screwdriver
- Pet supplies: Food and water
- Radio: Battery or hand cranked
- Cat litter or sand: For better tire traction
- Shovel: To dig out snow
- Ice scraper: Even if you usually park in a garage, have one in the car.
- Clothes: Make sure you dress for the weather in warm clothes, gloves, hat, sturdy boots, jacket and an extra change of clothes for the cold
- Warmers: Pack extra for body, hands, feet
- Blankets or sleeping bags: If you get stranded in traffic on a lonely road, you'll be glad to have it.
- Charged Cell Phone: Keep a spare charger in your car as well
Additional links to useful information:
If you are travelling plan extra travel time, drive slower and more cautiously, bundle up, and check the following links for road conditions: