Prepare for the winter weather

Prepare for the winter weather

by Alicia CarloStaff Writer

Mother Nature has given Iowans quite a show these past couple winters, and so far, it looks as though this winter is not going to be any different. Frigid cold temperatures in recent days, along with many inches of snow and ice, have many students wishing for spring.

When a snow ordinance is put out, many people groan at the hassle of moving their cars from the street to a crowded parking lot in the frigid cold temperatures and snow. However, a snow ordinance is a lot more than just moving a car.

According to the Indianola Police Department, a snow ordinance is put into effect when two or more inches of snow or ice has fallen or is predicted to fall by the National Weather Service. It is to remain in effect for the duration of the storm and for at least 48 hours past the end of the storm or until streets are fully opened after plowing.

When a snow ordinance is put into effect, no one may park on any public street or alley. If a vehicle is in violation of the parking ban, the owner will be subject to a $35 parking ticket and the vehicle may be towed at the owner’s expense.

One problem for students is finding room to park when there is a snow ordinance.

“I agree that we should not have our cars on the street, but I also think that Simpson is trying to get us to do something that can’t be done,” junior Jenny Ludemann said. “There simply aren’t enough spots for everyone.”

Jeff Wagner at campus services understands this. His crew of four full-time maintenance employees is in charge of the snow removal in the parking lots, sidewalks and entrances to buildings. They also provide jumpstarts for students and staff and are able to dig students out of parking spots when needed.

He said he understands that it is hard to find parking in the lots, especially when most of the time they can only remove the snow from the general driving areas of the lots when everyone is parked there.

Freshman Jessica Fee agreed that winter parking can be difficult. Fee doesn’t have a Simpson parking pass, and that makes it difficult when a snow ordinance is called.

“When I know that there is one, I park at a friend’s house a block away,” Fee said.

The biggest problem for Wagner and his staff has been the variation of weather and the severity. With there being snow and ice, anytime there is a warm day should be a sign of relief. However, once the temperature goes down again, everything freezes and makes a mess.

“Ice poses a challenge,” Wagner said.

Ice melt does not work in the freezing conditions like those Indianola has experienced recently, so Wagner and his staff have to resort to sand to ensure traction and safety. When it snows, Wagner’s crew tries to get all of the main sidewalks cleared but knows that they may miss something.

Ludemann does not believe that they always get the sidewalks clear enough.

“It seems like they are always a little behind on getting them cleaned off,” Ludemann said. “It would at least be helpful if they could get the main walkways cleaned off as soon as possible and then finish the less traveled ones later, but overall, it seems that they just can’t get to it quick enough.”

Wagner suggested that if there is any area that does not seem to be getting the attention needed, students should call campus services and they will get to it within 20 minutes.

The biggest tip that Wagner has for students in this winter weather is proper footwear.

“Dress for the weather and ensure proper safety,” Wagner said.