Columbia prepares for winter with snow plow dry run

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COLUMBIA - Wednesday marked the National Weather Service's Winter Weather Awareness Day in Missouri, and several groups worked to prepare others for the months ahead.

As part of Winter Weather Awareness Day, Columbia Public Works organized a "dry run" for its snow plow drivers to prepare for the first snow of the season.

Mike Eckenrod is in his first year plowing the roads in Columbia. Eckenrod is tasked with being one of the drivers in charge of the largest plow truck in the city.

"I guess you could look at it as an honor," Eckenrod said. "Just over the years, I've picked up a bit of experience."

Eckenrod said he has been driving large trucks for various jobs over the past 30 years.

The city's plow drivers took part in a training this morning that refreshed drivers on policies and safety procedures. Then, drivers hit the road to get some practice on their routes.

"It gives us an idea of how our trucks operate," Eckenrod said. "It gives us a mental picture of what we need to do."

Columbia Public Works said parking enforcement agents will also be out leaving fliers on cars parked in designated snow routes around the city.

When the city gets more than two inches of snow, drivers are required to move their cars from those areas in order for plows to get through. The city said drivers who do not move their cars could be fined and have their vehicles towed.

As part of Winter Weather Awareness Day, the National Weather Service also recommends drivers prepare themselves before hitting the road this winter.

The National Weather Service said different objects including blankets, flares, a shovel and jumper cables be kept in your car as a precaution.