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SNOW REMOVAL FAQ

COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Here are answers to some commonly asked snow plowing and winter road condition questions. These answers will better inform you about snow removal policies and procedures for the city of Nashua.

Why can't you plow my street now?

We wish we had enough snowplows and drivers to take care of every street right away, but our resources are limited so we must adhere to a carefully laid out system for clearing the streets. If we allowed our plows to be diverted each time a special request was made, our system would be destroyed and it would take far longer to get all the streets in the city cleared. To keep our snow removal operations as effective and efficient as possible, plows are not permitted to deviate from their assigned routes. Main thoroughfare streets have first priority for snow plowing. The remainder of the streets are plowed after priority streets. 

The plow left some snow at the end of my driveway. Can you send someone to clear it out?

There are approximately 900 driveways in the City of Nashua. If we allocated both plow trucks to this effort and spent just 60 seconds per driveway, it would consume a full work day to clean driveways alone. One thing you can do to minimize the problem is to pile snow that has been shoveled from the driveway on the downstream side of the driveway. Then if the snowplow hits the pile, it will be moved onto the grass or sidewalk, not back into your driveway. The snow removal crews do not return and plow out any driveways.

I own a business downtown. How are streets plowed in the Business District?

Streets and alleys in the Main Street Business District are treated separately from other snow and ice control operations because snow storage within the street and alley rights-of-way is not desirable. Snow removal is accomplished by hauling the snow from the area. Snow plowing procedures are utilized only to the extent that storage of snow along the traveled portion of the roadway will not inhibit vehicle movement.

Can you tell me exactly when my street will be plowed?

Under ideal circumstances, we can predict fairly accurately when we will have streets in various sections of the city plowed. As weather conditions change we often must alter our snow-fighting strategy in the midst of the snow removal operations in order to control drifting snow, ice or other special problems. We cannot give you an estimate of when your street will be cleared due to ever-changing weather conditions.

Why don't you use the big trucks to plow out cul-de-sacs?

The varying sizes of cul-de-sacs present plowing problems ranging from difficult to impossible. A plow can easily cut an 11-foot path through the snow on a straight road surface, but trying to plow and turn the blade in a small circle in a cul-de-sac is very difficult. Therefore, a pickup with a blade is used to plow cul-de-sacs more efficiently than the large trucks.

Why do you sometimes salt instead of plow, or plow instead of salt?

Different types of storms require the use of different snow-fighting techniques. The decision whether to salt or plow depends upon the expected weather conditions. For example, if the temperature is below 20 degrees and not expected to rise, salt will not be effective. But if the sun is shining and the temperature is 20 degrees or more and expected to remain steady or to rise, then salt would be more effective. The decision whether to plow or salt is made with great consideration and based on the latest weather information available. Plowing under the wrong conditions can create a polished street surface, resulting in dangerous glare ice. The decisions made by the city’s experienced crew are critical.

Salt corrodes my car, sidewalk and drive. Can you use something other than salt?

Sand/salt mix is our best snow-fighting tool until a more cost-efficient and effective material is developed. The normal chemical/abrasive mixture the City uses is one part salt to four parts sand.

I have a heart condition. Can you plow my street in case there is an emergency and an ambulance needs to get through?

The potential for a medical emergency does not warrant priority treatment. Anyone needing an ambulance in a medical emergency should contact 9-1-1, as normal.

When is parking prohibited on city streets?

Parking is prohibited on all streets and alleys, including city right-of-way, during snow removal operations unless the snow been removed or plowed from said street or alley after the snow has ceased to fall. The Main Street Business District is signed for no parking between 3:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. daily. Anyone leaving town for an extended time should find suitable off-street parking to avoid ticketing and towing in the event of snowfall. During snowfall, it is important to utilize off-street parking on private property to allow efficient snow plowing and avoid ticketing or towing of your vehicle.

What should I do if my vehicle was ticketed and towed for being illegally parked during snow removal operations?

The Police Department coordinates all towing operations. If you find that your vehicle has been towed, contact the Police Department at 641-435-2068.

My mailbox was hit by the snowplow, who do I contact?

Report any incidents of damage by utilizing ‘Report a Concern’ or contacting City Hall. The Streets Superintendent will investigate any reported instances within Nashua city limits. 

Who is responsible for plowing the county and state roads?

County roads beyond city limits are maintained by county road departments.

Highway 346 (Sample Street and Greenwood Avenue) is maintained by the Iowa Department of Transportation, New Hampton garage.

Highway 218 / 27 is maintained by the Iowa Department of Transportation, Charles City garage.

For information on County and State road conditions, call 511 or visit http://www.511ia.org/.

 

To report roadway concerns, use the contact information below:

 

Chickasaw County, (641) 394-4413

 

Floyd County, (641) 257-6151 

 

Iowa DOT New Hampton garage, (641) 394-2541 (Highway 346)

 

Iowa DOT Charles City garage, (641) 228-4165 (Highway 218/27)

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