With storm approaching, city leaders and Iowa State Patrol weigh in

The City of Ottumwa has declared a snow emergency beginning Wednesday evening in preparation for the oncoming winter storm; and because of that, the city wants to make sure residents know to keep snow routes clear.

The routes are clearly marked with blue signs showing a white snowflake and the words, â??snow route.â?? No one is to park on the routes, being that they need to be plowed first by city crews once the snow starts to accumulate.

â??We absolutely give priority to those snow routes streets during the time it is snowing, it kind of keep those main drags open for essential traffic and emergency traffic. Residential areas we genuinely donâ??t get into clearing those too much until the snow has actually ended,â?? stated Tom Rodgers, Public Information Officer for the City of Ottumwa.

Rodgers says that no one is to park on these routes until the snow emergency is lifted, which will be announced by the city.

Vehicles parked out of compliance with the ordinance are subject to being towed and impounded, and a citation will be issued and a fee charged.

The City of Ottumwa and Wapello County want to remind drivers that plow drivers cannot see directly behind their trucks and often stop or back up; so be cautious when driving around the snow plows.

And with the oncoming snow storm, the Iowa State Patrol is reminding drivers that if they donâ??t need to be on the road during the white-out conditions, donâ??t be.

Troopers with the state patrol will still be patrolling the highways throughout the Hawkeye State, however, to make it easier on them and you, they have some tips for drivers if they do have to have to travel.

â??We are very dependent sometimes on the little toys and trinkets that come in our cars and all the stuff that comes with them. Cruise control has been around for a long time, but I think in these types of driving conditions, you do not want to take advantage of that particular device. Put your foot on the accelerator, it is a little closer to the break that way. Limit some of those distractions; cell phones being the most important, and concentrate on the task at hand which is operating that vehicle safely,â?? said Trooper Jason Marlow with the Iowa State Patrol.

Marlow also suggests drivers keep their low beams on while driving and also to make sure to take it slow when going out into the storm.

Iowa State Patrol Winter Driving Tips