Thursday, Jan. 16, 8 p.m.: Another winter storm is on its way to Olathe. Forecasts are calling for a wintry mix of snow and sleet before dawn on Friday, changing over to freezing rain around sunrise.
Crews expect road conditions to be slick and hazardous as pavement temperatures will initially be below freezing. By late morning, temperatures are predicted to warm above freezing, and the storm should shift to regular rain. Even as temperatures warm, road conditions will continue to be hazardous throughout the day. As temperatures drop Friday night into Saturday morning, it is likely that any melted snow or ice will re-freeze on pavement surfaces.
City crews reportdd for the night shift at 7:30 p.m. Thursday night to pre-treat all roadways with salt. Day Shift drivers will report for duty at 7:30 a.m.
on Friday, and crews will rotate on 12-hour shifts treating roads as needed until road temperatures rise above freezing.
As soon as plowing operations begin all trucks, including residential, are activated. The City must keep major streets open first to allow emergency vehicles access to all areas of Olathe. Individual requests for snow removal are serviced after major operations have been completed.
During the snow
City crews work 24/7 to maintain passable streets and will continue working 12-hour shifts around the clock as long as deemed necessary. Unfortunately, it is not possible to respond to individual locations during a snow event. Major roadways and collector streets receive the first priority for snow removal, followed then by residential streets and cul-de-sacs. Once the snow has stopped accumulating, crews have 48 hours to clear the streets. Crews will work through routes as quickly as possible.
When the snow has ended
City crews work 24/7 to maintain passable streets and will continue working 12-hour shifts around the clock as long as deemed necessary. Unfortunately, it is not possible to respond to individual locations at this time, as the snow just recently ended. Major roadways and collector streets receive the first priority for snow removal, followed then by residential streets and cul-de-sacs. Crews will work as quickly as possible, continue the 12-hour shifts around the clock to ensure the streets are cleared within 48 hours of the snow ending.
If only snow is forecast, crews usually pretreat streets ahead of the impending weather, then continue treatment during the weather event. Once snow has stopped, crews conclude the process by pushing and removing snow.
For ice forecasts, pretreatment is not usually done, as rain will wash away any chemicals spread on streets. Crews will work as fast and safe as possible to treat roads during the weather event, which will conclude with treatment once ice accumulation has ended.
Snow removal crews are in direct contact with police dispatchers who can direct them to areas where emergency access is needed.
Plowing Sequence on Residential Streets
Snow plow drivers are directed to continually change their sequence for plowing residential streets so that a particular street is not always last to be plowed.
Large Truck Snow Plows
Large trucks plow residential streets and assist at cul-de-sacs by plowing the opening to the cul-de-sac, but not the bulb of the cul-de-sacs. The large trucks cannot safely plow the entire cul-de-sac.
Adjacent property owners are responsible for maintaining sidewalks. The City asks that business and residential property owners maintain their sidewalks for safe pedestrian use.
Windrows (Snow build-up at the base of driveways)
A windrow of snow builds up at the base of driveways when the snow plow passes. This is a natural consequence of the snow removal process. Avoid shoveling driveway snow into the street, instead shovel snow to the down-street side (down street is the direction traffic flows past your driveway). to minimize the amount of snow pushed back into your driveway by plow trucks.
Large trucks will plow residential streets and assist with cul-de-sacs by plowing the throat (opening of the cul-de-sac), but not the bulb. The larger trucks cannot plow cul-de-sac safely, expect a smaller truck to come by to finish plowing the cul-de-sac.
Vehicles and other objects in roadways
Park vehicles in a driveway if possible and ensure no part of the vehicle is hanging out into the street. Remove portable basketball goals, hockey goals, skate board ramps, or other structures to enable plow trucks to reach the curb.
Individual Snow Removal Requests
Once major operations for snow removal have been completed individual requests for snow removal will be serviced.
Total Miles and Cul-de-sacs
A total of 1,311 lane miles and 1,428 cul-de-sacs are plowed during each snow event.
Olathe's Snow Plow Fleet Size
Up to 58 trucks remove snow in day-time and night-time shifts. Twelve trucks maintain arterial and collector streets and business routes, while 15 large trucks and 30 pick-up trucks clear residential streets.
Shift and Service Length
Crews work 12-hour shifts to provide 24-hour service during a winter storm.
In Case of An Emergency
Call 911 if you have an emergency. Dispatchers will contact the snow removal operation if emergency vehicles need assistance.
Road Safety during Snow Removal
Stay off the roads, if possible. The fewer vehicles on the roads, the faster we can get them cleared and have you on your way. If travel is necessary stay back at least 50' from the rear of a plow truck. If the plow mirrors aren't visible to then the plow driver will not see you. Avoid passing or driving beside plow trucks to allow our larger trucks to plow multiple lanes of snow at once.
Sidewalk and Residential Safety during Snow Removal
Children should stay behind the sidewalks as plow trucks work on residential streets. Tree branches that may hang out into the street or impede a snow plows progress should be trimmed.
Losing Power in the Storm
The City does not manage power. You will need to contact your power company to report the outage.
Downed tree limbs/branches due to snow
If the limbs/branches are on private property, the homeowner/business owner is responsible for removal and disposal. If the downed limbs/branches fall into the street, the street plows will push them to the side of the street.
Schedule a bulk pick-up by calling Customer Service during regular business hours at 913-971-9311 or online at BillPay.OlatheKS.org. We will alert residents through OlatheKS.org, social media, and the Olathe Trash Day mobile app if a discount is offered. The Olathe Compost Facility (1100 Hedge Ln.) is open for disposal of limbs at no cost if residents are able to transport limbs and branches themselves.
City staff is unable to go onto private property to assist with large limbs or branches.
Find your neighborhood zone or route and match it to the #snolathe team members below who are keeping your roads safe during and after the winter storms. Check back for weekly roster updates.