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News from City Hall

City Communications Office

City of Kansas City, Mo.

http://www.kcmo.org

CONTACT: Mary Charles, city communications officer, (816) 513-1356

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jan. 5, 2010

City crews applying sand and preparing for next storm

City departments respond to increased demands

The City of Kansas City, Mo., Public Works Department is applying sand to hills and slick spots to provide greater traction in residential areas that have snow-packed and icy streets from the series of recent winter storms. Crews had to dry the sand prior to application to reduce moisture that creates clumps of sand and ice that can clog machinery.

Current weather forecasts call for three to five inches of snow accumulation on Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 6-7. Snow plows in residential areas should be able to remove the fresh snow on Wednesday and Thursday, but the packed snow and ice that are currently bonded to the streets will likely remain until temperatures reach a level where applying salt would be effective. Current weather forecasts indicate that this could occur on Sunday, Jan.10. Should temperatures continue to remain below a level at which salt is effective, sand will be applied as appropriate.

The City's Snow and Ice Plan calls for keeping primary and arterial streets open for traffic. On primary and arterial streets, crews plow curb-to-curb and work around the clock to remove snow and apply salt. On residential streets, the plan calls for providing a passable lane. A passable lane does not require exposed pavement. In addition to plowing, crews assigned to residential streets apply salt on intersections, hills and slick areas.

The City's Public Works, Parks and Recreation and Water Services departments collaborate to remove snow and ice from approximately 900 miles of primary and arterial routes and maintain a passable driving lane on more than 1,800 miles of residential routes.

Because Water Services Department crews are providing snow removal assistance and due to the unusually cold weather, the department’s water and sewer crews are responding only to emergencies such as out-of-water calls, water main breaks, sewer backups in basements and sewer overflows. The City's after-hours call center is staffed by the Water Services Department, and it has seen a significant increase in the number of snow and ice calls. Water Services Department personnel anticipate that as the cold temperatures linger, the number of water main breaks will increase.

The extreme temperatures and snow also make the maintenance and operation of the City’s water supply plant and wastewater treatment plants facilities difficult. These facilities also are staffed 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

The City’s 3-1-1 Action Center, a division of the City Manager's Office, is seeing a heavy increase in call volume related to snow, ice and cold temperatures. Since the winter storms began Dec. 24, 2009, the 3-1-1 Action Center has taken 4,822 requests for service just for the Public Works Department. These requests are cases opened and do not include all incoming calls to the 3-1-1 Action Center.

Callers can contact the 3-1-1 Action Center by dialing 311 or 513-1313. Normal business hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Requests for service also can be submitted online at http://www.kcmo.org.

Media inquiries about ice and snow removal should be directed to Dennis Gagnon, public information officer for the Public Works Department, (816) 513-2659.

Media inquiries about Water Services Department issues should be directed to Colleen Doctorian, public information officer for the Water Services Department, (816) 513-0232.

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