Community News

Ready for Winter in Alexandria? City Provides Preparedness Info and Resources

The Lee-Fendall Garden laden with snow 2020. (Photo courtesy of Martha Withers)

ALEXANDRIA, VA-With above-average snowfall in the forecast for this winter, the City of Alexandria is reminding residents of its snow and ice removal procedures and offering tips for staying warm, safe, and informed during storms.


Clearing streets and sidewalks of snow and ice is a process that takes time, hard work, and good communication between residents, business owners, and the City. Snow and ice removal is a major undertaking: crews must clear snow from 561 lane miles of roadway, 20 miles of City-owned walkways and trails, and 44 acres of municipal parking lots and City-owned squares.

To clear snow and ice from this large network of streets and sidewalks, the City uses a multi-pronged strategy:

  • Roads are plowed by priority. Snow emergency routes are plowed first, followed by secondary routes, intermediate routes, and residential streets.
  • Clearing sidewalks, driveways, and entrances is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner, occupant, community association, or business. Time limits for clearing snow are determined by the storm’s severity or storm level.
  • The City pretreats select roads with brine when low temperatures or precipitation are possible, but rain is not expected. This preventive anti-icing measure—along with the City’s usual snow and ice prevention and removal techniques—helps keep roads safer.

Residents, businesses, and visitors can do the following things to support the City’s snow removal efforts and help snow crews and emergency responders during winter storms and other weather emergencies:

  • Do not park on snow emergency routes.
  • Keep shovels and either salt or sand handy.
  • Avoid shoveling snow into the street.
  • Sign up to become a Snow Buddy and help your neighbors who are unable to shovel snow.
  • Check on neighbors who may need assistance.


The City offers several warming centers to provide daytime relief from the cold for community members who may not have access to a warm shelter or heating in their homes during the day.

The City’s Winter Shelter is open nightly at 2355-A Mill Road, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., regardless of weather, from November 1 through April 15. The Winter Shelter serves families and single individuals experiencing homelessness and provides supportive services and resources to assist residents in obtaining stable housing. For more information, including transportation options, visit the website or call 703.477.5773.


Be prepared for winter weather before it happens. There are a variety of actions residents can take to prepare for and stay safe during an emergency:


Once a snow emergency is declared by the City, information will be available via eNews alerts, FacebookInstagram, and X.

Residents, businesses, and visitors can check on the plowing priority and status of Alexandria streets using the City’s SnowReport tracking system.

Additionally, the City’s winter weather mailer (available in English, Spanish, Amharic, and Arabic) and are both useful sources of information about winter emergency preparedness, safety tips, and snow removal in Alexandria.

Winter weather response is one of the City’s top priorities. We appreciate the cooperation of Alexandria residents and businesses as we work together to keep our community safe during the winter months. [SEE ALSO: Make a Gingerbread House Version of a Famous Alexandria Building]

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