Z-Environment

What You Need to Know About Snow Removal and Winter Weather Preparedness

Snowy streets in Alexandria in years past (Photo courtesy Steve Cohen)

By Steve Cohen

Alexandria, VA – Handling winter weather events is a top priority for the city. City crews are responsible for clearing snow from over 500 lane miles of roadways, 20 miles of city-owned walking and biking trails, and 44 acres of city-owned parking lots and squares.

Clearing snow and ice from this vast network requires time, effort, and coordination among residents, businesses, and the government. Maintaining a snow and ice-free transportation network is essential for emergency vehicles to travel safely. Important facts about snow removal and winter weather emergency preparedness include:

  • Levels: Storms are classified based on the type and severity of the storm, with Level 1 being the least severe and Level 3 being the most severe. The storm levels are updated on the city’s website as weather conditions change.
  • Priorities: Roads are cleared in an order based on priority. The first to be plowed are the snow emergency routes, then secondary routes, intermediate routes, and residential streets.
  • Clear: It is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner, occupant, community association, or business to clear sidewalks, driveways, and entrances. The time allowed for snow clearance is determined by the severity of the storm.
  • Proactiveness: Anticipating low temperatures or precipitation, the city applies brine to certain roads to prevent ice formation.

During winter storms, residents and businesses need to follow these guidelines:

  1. Don’t park on snow emergency routes.
  2. Keep shovels and either salt or sand readily available.
  3. Don’t shovel snow into the street.
  4. Check on neighbors who may require assistance and volunteer as a Snow Buddy to help neighbors who cannot clear snow.

ICYMI: With More Snow Expected, City of Alexandria Advising Preparation

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