Wondering what a snow emergency or ordinance is? Here's how your town defines it.
To prepare for winter storms, Des Moines and many surrounding cities declare emergency snow ordinances. But what does that mean?
Cities and towns can issue snow ordinances or snow emergencies to reduce travel and keep the streets clear, which allows for plows to pass easily, as well as emergency vehicles.
Each city has its own specifics on where and when to move your vehicles, as well as fines, tickets, and the possibility of being towed.
Here are the rules are in your town.
Anytime it snows at least two inches on the main streets in the city (Grand Avenue, Lincoln Way and Duff Avenue), citizens should be prepared to move their cars. When the snow ordinance goes into effect, vehicles parked in a snow route could be ticketed $20 and/or towed.
Details on Ames' snow ordinance can be found on the city's website.
No parking is allowed on all public streets, alleys and on-street parking. Those who violate the ordinance will be ticketed $40 and may be towed.
Parking in The District at Prairie Trail and Uptown business district is prohibited from 2 to 6 a.m. during a snow ordinance.
Full details on Ankeny's snow ordinance, including how to sign up for alerts, can be found on the city's website.
No one — except physicians or anyone else on emergency calls — can park or leave their vehicle unattended on any public streets. The fine is $25, and the possibility of being towed, though it’s a last resort.
Read more about the city's ordinance here.
According to the city's ordinance, when the city announces a snow ordinance, it lasts until 24 hours after the snowfall ends. Vehicles must be removed from the streets within one hour of the declaration or they can be ticketed. Any vehicles not removed within 12 hours of the declaration could be towed, and the owner is responsible for the towing expenses.
As soon as the winter weather starts, move your cars off the street, otherwise, your car will be ticketed or towed. The full ordinance on the city’s website says street parking can resume 24 hours after the snow stops falling and as soon as crews have plowed from curb to curb (48 hours if snow has not been plowed curb to curb).
On snow routes, no parking is allowed on either side of the street. Plows start to operate when the city gets at least 1 inch of snow.
Some neighborhoods with limited off-street parking have "odd/even" signage, meaning drivers must park on the respective odd or even side depending on the calendar date. For example, on Jan. 17 — an odd number — park on the side of the street where the last digit on house numbers is odd.
Residential streets: If you don't see "odd/even" or "snow route" signage, you're on a residential street. Restrictions can overlap, but no parking is allowed on residential streets during snow removal.
Indianola’s snow ordinance bans parking on streets and alleyways and is in effect when two or more inches of snow is predicted or has fallen. This lasts until 48 hours after the storm has ended or the streets are open after plowing.
Leaving your car on the street could result in a $35 ticket and your car could be towed — at your expense.
All cars must be removed from city streets, otherwise, face a $25 fine or having your car impounded, according to city code.
The city’s snow ordinance means all cars, construction equipment and trailers must be moved off of public streets to avoid a $25 ticket and towing.
The city’s snow ordinance means that no cars can be parked on the street until all are plowed and the snow has stopped. Leaving a car on the street means you could receive a $35 ticket or have your car towed.
Full details on the snow ordinance can be found on the city's website.
West Des Moines
An emergency parking ban for snow removal will be enacted at noon on Tuesday until 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
The city's emergency parking ban applies to all streets in the city, and cars are subject to a $50 fine and/or towing.
Visit the city's website for more information on parking restrictions, or to sign up for notifications.
According to city code, cars should not be parked on the street when snowfall begins, and for 24 hours after the snow stops falling. The penalty is a $25 fine.
The city declares a snow emergency, which bans residents from parking on any public street, ally or city-owned off-street parking. The ordinance cites that streets should be cleared so snowplows can clear the streets and emergency vehicles can pass.
Leaving your car on the street could result in a $25 fine and your car towed.
Amber Mohmand covers breaking news for the Des Moines Register. She can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @ambermohmand.