The Street Division diligently follows weather reports, monitors our weather stations and road conditions, prepares for and is on the ready for weather events. Often City crews get started in the early hours to eliminate commuting hazards or mitigate very snowy or icy conditions. In the event of snowfall where plowing is required, the City has five dump trucks with plows, two of which are equipped with sand spreaders. The City also utilizes a road grader for plowing.
The City Street Crew Generally Begins Plowing When
- Snow reaches about four inches deep and the forecast is for continued snowfall.
- Moisture content of snow is a factor. "Dry," light snow is less of an issue than "wet," heavy snow.
- The crew plows priority routes first to keep arterials and emergency service routes open.
- Once the priority routes are cleared of snow the crews begin plowing residential streets. Neighborhoods built on hills with curved streets are higher priorities.
Snow Removal Assistance - individuals and agencies that can assist property owners who are unable to remove the snow from their property
A Few Pointers for Homeowners When Snow Falls
- Give plenty of room to snow plows and sanders – these vehicles make frequent stops, turns and back-ups.
- Park cars off the street where possible to avoid being plowed in. This also allows the plow to place the snow next to the curb.
- Keep the sidewalks in front of your home free from snow and ice.
- Keep a clear path to your mail box.
- Help your neighbor with snow removal from their driveway and sidewalk.
- Some local organizations have volunteers who are willing to assist the elderly or handicapped with snow removal. Please call the Street Division at 509.527.4363 if you would like to be added to the volunteer list.
What Type of Material Should I Use to De-Ice my Sidewalk?
Property owners should use a product that indicates it is environmentally friendly. If you decide to use de-icer material, please closely monitor the application and use the minimum amount. If you notice your sidewalks are “pitting,” you may need to adjust the amount of product applied or try a different formulation. Using salt and de-icers on concrete sidewalks can negatively affect the condition of the sidewalks but other factors, such as the quality of the concrete, chemical formula of the de-icing compound, and freeze/thaw cycles may also contribute to the overall condition. Consider using a product containing calcium magnesium acetate, which is a small, pellet-like substance that offers low corrosion, is safe for concrete, vegetation, and the environment.