City announces Snow Season plan

Snow Season staffing set to begin

Julie Happy, 509.625.7773

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 12:30 p.m.

The City of Spokane is geared up for snow response as the possibility of snow looms in the forecast. The City’s defined Snow Season runs from Nov. 15 to March 15 each winter.

The City of Spokane’s Street Department is the primary responder during snow events. Using truck plows, graders, sanders, de-icers, and other equipment, the Department is responsible for snow removal and de-icing activities within the City. City crews switch to two 10-hour shifts, covering 20 hours a day, seven days a week.

Bridges, arterials, bus routes, hospitals and medical districts, and neighborhood business districts are de-iced and plowed first. Snow conditions and weather forecasts guide the City’s snow response as defined by “snow events.”

  • Stage 1 Snow Event is called when two inches of snow are on the ground and four inches or more are anticipated during the current snow event.
  • Stage 2 Snow Event is called when six inches of snow are on the ground and more is anticipated during the current snow event. During Stage 2 Snow Events, the City may utilize private contract crews to further expand snow removal efforts.

During a stage one event, citizens must move parked cars off all arterials and fixed bus routes within six hours of City declaration of a snow event. Cars parked in residential hill areas also must be moved to the even side of the street within six hours.

A full-City plow is initiated during a stage two event. During a stage 2 event parked cars in residential hill areas must be moved to the even side of the street designated by the property address within 12 hours. The “Snow Corridor Plan” may also be implemented if City crews cannot effectively keep arterials clear because of weather conditions. Crews will concentrate on identified routes that citizens can rely on until conditions improve.

During snow events, property owners must clear sidewalks of snow within 24 hours. During a stage two event, citizens must also clear snow off of vehicles parked along the street and from around curb ramps, hydrants, storm drains, and mailboxes.

The City uses a variety of methods to notify citizens about residential plow routes and snow events. Those include local media,, Facebook and Twitter (using the hashtag #SpokaneStreets), City Cable 5 and neighborhood email distribution networks. Citizens can also call the City’s Snow Hotline at 509-625-7737 and sign up to receive text alerts for their respective neighborhood by texting 509.385.5775 and follow the prompt to choose a location. Electronic variable message signs added to some of the City’s main arterials will help alert drivers about road conditions and closures. Citizens can also access the Snow Removal Progress Map on the City’s website.