Thunder and lightening have accompanied the start of the region’s winter storm. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning in effect until 8:00 p.m. Sunday. There is a chance for between 10 and 24 inches of snow in the greater Flagstaff area.
In addition to crews on standby to plow roads and respond to emergencies, Northern Arizona University has announced a campus wide closure Monday, to discourage travel during the snowstorm. Sunday would have been the last day of Spring Break, with thousands of students, faculty and staff returning to Flagstaff by car.
Below are news releases by area agencies who have made preparations for the winter weather.
Message from City of Flagstaff.
Limit travel as much as possible during heavy snow and high winds. Make sure you have plenty of fuel and food supplies to avoid unnecessary trips during the storm. If you must drive, slow down, be patient and drive safely. Plan for extra travel time and keep plenty of distance between you and other vehicles.
There is NO parking allowed on City streets overnight. This will be strictly enforced this weekend and throughout the duration of the storm. Vehicles parked on streets overnight will be towed. If possible, please park off the streets during the day as well, so crews can plow and improve driving conditions.
City plows work on a priority system. Major arterials, bus routes, hills, and downtown are first priority streets and plows work to keep them open and passable. All other streets are considered second priority and will be plowed over time based upon the amount of snowfall received.
For highway travel conditions call 5-1-1
Message from Flagstaff Fire Department Captain Mark Johnson.
Flagstaff Fire Department Safety Alert: if Flagstaff ends up getting the snow predicted, we will see very slick roads and hazardous driving conditions. If you do travel, Make sure to carry warm blankets, water, food and plenty of gas on your trip. Best plans involve staying at home and avoiding the roads altogether. If you plan on warming the fireplace, woodstove or pellet stove back up, be sure to clean your ashes out, and make sure they are cold prior to disposal. Grabbing a few extra items at the grocery store may be a good plan to avoid unnecessary trips out when conditions are not as favorable. Stay safe; enjoy what may be our last winter storm this season.
Message from Coconino County
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Coconino County Public Works crews are preparing for a strong storm that’s expected to hit northern Arizona with up to 55 mph winds, rain and between 12 to 24 inches of snow over the weekend.
The National Weather Service on Friday issued a Winter Storm Watch for northern Arizona. The watch is in preparation for a strong low-pressure system that is expected to bring strong winds and rain to the Flagstaff region Saturday, which will turn to snow around midnight.
Snow amounts Sunday are expected to be between 12 to 24 inches above 7,000 ft; 6 to 12 inches above 5,000 ft; and a few inches at 4,500 ft. Rain is expected at lower elevations. The heaviest snowfall will occur Sunday morning, but snow is expected to continue falling throughout the day and into Monday as the system moves east.
Motorists are advised that precipitation is expected along the entire Interstate 17 corridor north from Phoenix to Flagstaff, and long stretches of east and westbound I-40 through Flagstaff. Drivers are asked to use caution, drive slowly and to allow ample breaking space between themselves and other vehicles.
As the storm moves through, County Public Works snow response teams will be working to help keep County roadways clear and passable by:
- · Plowing accumulated snow, giving priority to main arterial roadways then collector and residential streets.
- · Placing cinders on roadways to provide added traction for motorists.
- · “Winging” roadway snow as far back as possible to create the on-site storage space necessary to accommodate snowfall from future storms.
As a reminder, County Ordinance 86-6 prohibits motorists from parking on county roadways between Nov. 1 and April 1 on a 24-hour basis. Residents are asked to park their vehicles five to 10 feet from the roadway to allow ample room for snowplows to pass.
For updates on area road conditions contact:
- · Coconino County: 928-779-6630 (During normal business hours, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday to Friday).
- · Arizona Department of Transportation: Visit www.az511.gov or dial 5-1-1 (State highways and Interstates only).
Be prepared and always have on hand:
- · Three days of non-perishable food and water (one gallon per day per family member).
- · First aid kit and an extra supply of medication.
- · Personal hygiene supplies, extra clothing, footwear, gloves, blankets, sleeping bags.
- · Extra food for pets and livestock.
- · Flashlight, extra batteries, candles and a battery-operated radio.
- · Alternate heat source (kerosene, wood, etc.).
- · Full propane tank (if applicable).
- · Extra set of car keys, cash and credit cards.
- · Snow shovels.
- · An emergency plan for the entire family.
Vehicle preparedness tips:
- · Winterize your vehicle (antifreeze, wipers, battery and snow tires).
- · Carry an emergency kit consisting of tire chains or cables, blankets, a tow strap, jumper cables, flashlight, water, first aid kit, ice scraper, extra clothing, and appropriate tools.
- · Keep the gas tank at least half full.
- · When traveling, let someone know your intended route and expected time of arrival.
- · Allow extra time for travel and drive accordingly.
- · Extra blanket and food.