Winter snowstorm in Columbia  on Jan. 15, 2022.

Mid-Missouri reminded to keep hydrants clear, move cars ahead of winter storm


Parking in front of a snow-covered fire hydrant or along a priority road in Columbia could land drivers a ticket or a tow during this week’s snowstorm.

And public safety officials also are asking people to keep hydrants outside their homes and businesses clear so firefighters can quickly access them if needed.

To keep fire hydrants clear it is best to remove any snow or ice off of the fire hydrant and clear a perimeter of about 3 feet on each side of the fire hydrant for firefighters to work. It’s also important to make a clear path from the fire hydrant to the street so firefighters have a clear path to get to the hydrant when there is an emergency.

And in Columbia, city code prohibits parking in front of fire hydrants.

Parking in Columbia

Drivers who do not remove their vehicles could be ticketed and their vehicle towed at the owner’s expense if they’re parked on snow routes when more than 2 inches accumulates.

The City of Columbia treats priority roads 24 hours per day when needed during a winter storm. First-priority routes in Columbia include Broadway, Green Meadows Road and Vandiver Drive. These are major residential and arterial streets for public safety needs.

Second-priority roads include Derby Ridge Drive, Fairview and Parkade. These are heavily traveled collector and residential streets for public safety and city and school bus routes. These streets connect to schools, hospitals and other critical areas.

Steeple Chase, Dunbar and Keystone are third-priority routes. These roads facilitate vehicle access to first/second priority routes as well as residential neighborhoods.

Downtown streets and priority neighborhoods are listed as priority areas by the city.

The Missouri Department of Transportation is responsible for clearing major roads in and around the Columbia area. Highway 63, Interstate 70, Providence Road, Paris Road, Broadway, Business Loop 70, College Avenue, Range Line Street and Stadium Boulevard are all state-maintained roads.

The city sends alerts through the Nixle alert service and by texting COLUMBIAPW to 888-777.