Just as the area digs out, another significant winter storm looms later today.
The region, including Ray County, is under a winter storm warning until 3 p.m. Tuesday. The heaviest snows are expected this evening, continuing overnight and into Tuesday morning. Snow totals are expected to reach 7 to 13 inches in Ray County, according to the National Weather Service, which may surpass Thursday’s storm. Adding to the misery, gusts up to 32 mph could create blizzard-like conditions tonight.
Richmond School District made the call earlier this morning to dismiss classes at 12:45 p.m. today because of the impending storm. Ray County Courthouse will be closed Tuesday, and area schools are likely to be closed as well.
The joint meeting between Richmond’s ordinance and public safety committees has been canceled for tonight. City Administrator Ron Brohammer said City Hall will close at 4 p.m. today and open at 10 a.m. tomorrow. Tuesday’s city council meeting has been rescheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The state of emergency issued by Richmond Mayor Mike Wright Friday is still under effect until Wednesday. The declaration allows the city to implement emergency operations and hopefully recoup some snow removal costs through SEMA funding later, Wright said. Through its text alert system, the city also asked for patience from residents Friday while road crews cleared residential streets.
“Private contractors removed the snow from the square, so it’s looks pretty good for now,” Wright said Monday morning.
Outside contractor costs were $3,000 to $4,000 for snow removal, Brohammer said.
The city has extended its snow ordinance for the impending storm. All parked cars along roads need to be relocated – so plows can clear roads – or they’ll be ticketed or towed.
If a vehicle must be parked on a residential street, the city asks that vehicles be parked on the west side of streets that run north and south. On east-west streets, vehicles should be parked on the north side.
“We ask residents, please don’t put driveway snow into the street. We had so much snow our plow couldn’t keep up with it,” Brohammer said, adding that one of the city’s larger plows has broken down. The city has another large plow and three smaller ones.
“I’m sorry every area isn’t perfectly cleared,” Brohammer said. “It got to the point the trucks couldn’t go. They had to back off and wait, which is a bummer. We appreciate everyone’s understanding.”