City of St. Louis Outlines Preparations for Possible Winter Storm, Recommends Residents Plan Ahead, Take Precautions if Traveling
The National Weather Service (NWS) declares a Winter Storm Watch and Wind Chill Watch for our region beginning Thursday, December 22.
This article is 2 years old. It was published on December 21, 2022.
As the National Weather Service (NWS) declares a Winter Storm Watch and Wind Chill Watch for our region beginning Thursday, December 22, the City of St. Louis is joining the NWS to urge residents to take precautions and preventive measures to protect themselves and their families during and after the storm. The watch predicts precipitation, wind chills below zero, and high winds across the region. In the face of potentially hazardous conditions, residents should be cautious if traveling, and follow local media, the City’s website and City Emergency Management (CEMA) social media alerts for information, resources and updates. Residents should also sign up for the City’s emergency weather alerts from NotifySTL by registering on the city’s website.
“We urge everyone to take this forecast seriously and plan ahead to keep your loved ones safe, especially as families prepare to travel for the holidays,” said CEMA Commissioner Sarah Russell. “For those who must travel, take extra precautions. Stay alert and follow local media, the City’s website, and CEMA for important updates.”
City of St. Louis Streets Department crews will begin their winter preparations starting around 12:00 noon on Wednesday and will be salting and plowing throughout any snow event. With anticipated rainfall ahead of snow accumulation, pretreatment of roads is a challenge. A list of St. Louis’ 450 linear miles of snow routes can be found on the city’s website, and residents are urged to avoid parking on snow routes. The City will prioritize plowing and treatment on main arterials, followed by secondary snow routes.
“Drivers should take extra care during storms navigating slick or snowy roads,” said Streets Commissioner Kent Flake. “Crews are ready to work to keep city streets clear and safe for residents.”
If travel is necessary, the City joins the NWS St. Louis in recommending commuters begin their travel with a full tank of gas and carry a winter storm kit which includes a shovel, flashlight, cellphone, food and water, blankets, and extra warm clothing. Plan for a slower-than-normal trip. Be extremely cautious when approaching bridges, exit ramps, overpasses, and curves in the road. In Missouri, call 1-888-275-6636 or use the MODOT Travelers Map mobile app for state road information.
Snow on tree limbs and strong winds may down power lines and could cause sporadic power outages. Residents should avoid any downed power lines and report them to the Ameren Missouri at 800-552-7583. Ameren also encourages area residents to sign up for alerts by texting REG to AMEREN (263736).
Snow accumulation can also create further hazards. Shoveling snow can be dangerous, and can potentially cause exhaustion, dehydration, back injuries, or heart attacks.. If you must shovel snow, stretch beforehand, take frequent breaks and lift small amounts of snow at one time.
“The bitter cold and predicted snowfall can create serious health hazards for city residents and visitors,” says Justen Hauser, Chief of the Department of Health’s Environmental Health Services Bureau. “Please watch your family for signs of physical and mental stress, and contact your medical provider if you have any concerns. “If you must be outside, be sure to dress warmly and in layers, take frequent breaks to warm up and check on your neighbors who may need assistance.”
This year the City of St. Louis Department of Human Services (DHS) has ensured that all City-funded shelters operate 24/7 so unhoused residents won’t be left out in the cold. Those in need of shelter or who see someone in need can call 2-1-1 to be connected to available resources. A list of daytime warming centers can be found on the City’s website or by calling 2-1-1.
Area seniors, people with physical disabilities, and low-income families who cannot afford to pay their winter heating bills may qualify for help through heatupstlouis.org, a regional charity serving as a safety net providing utility assistance to those in need. To qualify, visit heatupstlouis.org or call 314-241-0001.