The National Weather Service is forecasting a significant winter storm, carrying several inches of snow with strong wind gusts, followed by bitterly cold temperatures and wind chills, to hit the Iowa City area through the weekend and into early next week. 

Snow plow routes and an explanation of route priority are available for viewing at

Avoid expensive and inconvenient issues by following these tips: 

Snow Removal reminder flyer

1. Shovel your sidewalks 

Sidewalks must be cleared within 24-hours of  a one-inch or greater snowfall. The entire walk must be cleared, making them accessible to everyone, especially for pedestrians with limited mobility. 

Snowy or icy sidewalks can result in a $100 fine, plus the cost to clear the sidewalk. If you rent, be sure you know if it is you or your landlord's duty to clear walks.

2. Don't get towed

Especially if you are leaving town for the weekend. Vehicles parked on the street must move every 48-hours or are subject to a citation and tow at the owner's expense.

The City may also declare a Snow Emergency, which requires vehicles to move off of the street to make way for snow plows. Vehicles that do not move will be ticketed and towed. To learn more about snow emergencies, visit and sign up for email and text alerts at

If you are towed, call Iowa City Police at 319-356-5275. Do not call 911. 

3. Prevent frozen pipes 

Cold weather can cause frozen pipes, which have the potential to burst resulting in thousands of dollars in damage to your home or rental. Avoid frozen pipes with these tips:

  • Don't turn your heat off, keep it set to at least 55 degrees 
  • Close windows, but keep doors open to rooms that contain plumbing, like kitchens, laundry rooms, and bathrooms 
  • Know the location of the shut-off valve
    • Typically in the basement between the water meter and wall 
  • If you are leaving town, ask someone to check on your home while you are away, and show them where the emergency shut-off valve is located 

For water emergencies, call 319-356-5166. 

Date of publication

Thursday, January 17, 2019