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Rockford plow drivers warn of dangers of not following odd/even parking ordinance

ROCKFORD (WREX) — Garry Cacciapaglia has worked for the city of Rockford for 35 years. He says a person's failure to understand and act on the odd/even parking ordinance during a snow emergency is something he is all too familiar with.

When Rockford declares a snow emergency, it activates an odd/even parking ordinance. On dates with an odd number, a vehicle must be parked on the odd address side of the road, while on even dates, cars must be parked on the even side.

This procedure allows plow officials to reach the curb, while keeping property safe and roads clear.

"If we don't get to the curb and then it freezes and then maybe it melts a little bit and freezes again, it just funnels everybody towards the center more," says Garry Cacciapaglia, Rockford plow operator. "If people aren't complying with the ordinance there's absolutely no way we can get down the road."

"We want to make sure the snow is removed from the street, we want to make sure we have salt down and we want to do that in as safe a way as possible," says Mitch Leatherby, Public Works superintendent.

Garry says the risk of not reaching the curb can cause flooding.

"When that snow melts, we want to make sure the intakes are cleared so then the run-off runs into the storm intakes." says Cacciapaglia. "If they're two or three feet out and that happens to melt and freeze again, now we got flooding issues."

Snow officials work long hours, often times pulling shifts that are 12 hours on then 12 hours off. They say if you don't remember to check your parking, it could give them great risk.

"It puts a lot of stress on the job. I call it white knuckling, because when you've got very little room on each side and you got poor conditions," says Cacciapaglia. "'Cause I'll tell you what I'll take ten inches of snow over an inch of ice any day."

Plow drivers say they are working to keep everyone safe and on their way, but all they ask is that people check their parking to keep them safe. They recommend checking regularly for snow emergency declarations and downloading their snow app, here.

Alexxis Kerry

Alexxis Kerry is a multimedia journalist at 13 WREX. She joined the team in 2019 as a Quintern.

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