Snow Removal

Winter Preparedness and Snow Plan for City Streets

The Oskaloosa Public Works Department is committed to keeping city streets safe and passable before, during, and after winter precipitation events.  The department utilizes five (5) single-axle dump trucks and two (2) one-ton pickup trucks fitted with front-mounted snow plows and rear-mounted salt/sand spreaders.  An additional single-axle truck is available for larger or extended events.  The department also utilizes a dedicated tanker truck for deicing pre-treatment and a dual-axle dump truck and loader for snow hauling.

There are approximately 70 centerline miles of streets throughout the city to be cleared by plow trucks.  Streets division staff are assigned to four (4) quadrants: north, southeast, southwest, and the downtown area.  Crews are assisted by Parks division staff and the city mechanic if needed during larger events.  In addition to plowing, 400 tons of salt/sand plus an additional 200 tons of reserve salt are available for application every year to help melt snow and ice, and to increase traction for vehicles.

Designated snow routes throughout the city are plowed and treated first to maintain access for emergency vehicles.  Secondary roads and cul-de-sacs are plowed next, and finally downtown alleys and public parking lots.  It will take approximately 16 hours for crews to clear all city streets after most winter events.

Snow Emergency & Snow Routes

When a "snow emergency" is declared and in effect, parking is prohibited on all city streets until crews have cleared the streets. Vehicles left on the street are subject to towing at the owner's expense. Snow emergencies are called by the City Manager's Office when weather and road conditions warrant such a declaration.  Snow emergencies are announced on the city's website at and Facebook page at  Residents may sign up to receive emergency alerts by text or email at

Emergency snow routes are designated by signs bearing the insignia of a white snowflake on a blue field. Emergency routes shall be given top priority in clearing accumulated snow. Parking is permitted only after removal of accumulated snow from the entire width of the street.

What To Do When It Snows Resident Reference Guide

When in doubt as to what to do when snow and/or ice blanket Oskaloosa, or if you have questions regarding city policy regarding snow and ice removal, refer to the What to Do When It Snows Brochure (PDF)

Snow and Ice Removal from Sidewalks

All sidewalks must be completely cleared of snow and ice within 24 hours after storms. If walks are not cleared and the City receives a complaint, the City will clear the sidewalk and bill the property owner. Report an uncleared public sidewalk.

Damage to Property from Snow Plow

At times it is very difficult for snow plow operators to judge where curbs and other obstacles are located during a snow event. If damage occurs to your yard due to plowing operations, the City will repair the damage in the spring. If damage occurs to your mailbox due to plowing operations, the City will repair/replace your mailbox at a cost not to exceed $35. Call the Street Division at 673-6885 to report damage.