Springfield crews prep for snow & give Christmas parade outlook

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3/KSPR) - The upcoming weekend's winter weather has a lot of people on edge. With that in mind, crews with Springfield Public Works are busy getting ready. Ron Bailey, Superintendent of Streets, said they'll be watching the weather patterns closely all day Friday, before they decide a plan of attack for Saturday. "How it comes in, as far as whether it's rain or not first, whether it's a dry snow or a wet snow, really makes a difference on how we proceed and do our prep work," said Bailey.

That order of weather is key. If the area is is predicted to get rain before snow, crews cannot pre-treat the roads. Bailey explained everything would be washed away. If they do pre-treat roads, crews usually use 200 pounds of salt per one lane mile. Once it does start snowing, they upgrade that and use 300 pounds of salt per one lane mile. Currently, there are 35 snow plow drivers employed by Springfield Public Works, one for each snow plow in their fleet. Ron Bailey said they will decide whether to call in overnight plow crews Friday afternoon, once the forecast is more finalized.

Springfield Public Works will also be working with parade officials to make sure their route is clear. Rusty Worley, the Executive Director with the Downtown Springfield Association, said even though some groups may need to drop out of the parade, it will still be a good time for everyone. "We have a long history of groups coming out, our community groups will typically be out unless there is just extreme weather," said Worley. "The marching bands, we work with, and they have a threshold where it's really difficult to play or hold their instruments," said Worley of how cold temperatures can impact area bands expected to be marching in the parade. Worley said they are hopeful snow will miss the Springfield area.

One group that will not be marching in the 2018 parade is the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Sergeant Jason Pace confirmed with KY3 and KSPR News that they are dropping out, saying he felt their efforts are best spent getting ready for any winter weather the region will see.

Worley said they'll post parade updates Friday at 2:00 p.m. and Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. on their website and social media pages. The 2018 Springfield Christmas Parade is hosted by the Downtown Springfield Association. The theme is "Wonders of Christmas.” The parade starts at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 8 at the intersection of Elm Street and South Avenue. The parade with go north to Park Central Square and continue east on St. Louis Street past the Expo Center.