As the National Weather Service (NWS) declares a Winter Storm Warning for our region from the evening of Tuesday, February 1 through noon on Thursday, February 3, 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 the storm. The warning predicts accumulations of snow between 6 and 10 inches, as well as sleet and icy conditions. In the face of hazardous conditions, residents are cautioned to avoid travel and follow local media, the City’s website and City Emergency Management (CEMA) social media alerts for information, resources and updates.
“We are urging everyone to take this forecast seriously and plan ahead to keep your loved ones safe,” said CEMA Commissioner Sarah Russell. “Stay alert and follow local media, the City’s website, and CEMA for important updates.”
Street crews will begin their work at 12am Wednesday morning and will be salting and plowing throughout the snow event. With anticipated precipitation ahead of time, 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 Refuse Division will also be running alley trucks to collect trash late Tuesday night to get ahead of hazardous conditions.
“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.”
If travel is absolutely 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 accumulation can also create further hazards. Shoveling snow can be dangerous, especially for those with heart conditions. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack. If you must shovel snow, stretch beforehand and take frequent breaks. 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.
“This storm has the potential to create health risks for you and your family,” says Director of Health Dr. Mati Hlashtwayo Davis. “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.”
Through the Department of Human Services (DHS), the City has expanded 24-hour service to facilitate connecting unhoused people to shelter. Those in need of shelter or who see someone in need can call 2-1-1 to be connected to available resources. The Warming Bus continues to connect residents with beds and resources. The Warming Bus is activated when temperatures are 32 degrees and below, operating at 13th and Chestnut between 5:30pm to 7pm. A list of 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.