City of Alexandria Urges Community to Help Prepare for Winter Weather

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City of Alexandria Urges Community to Help Prepare for Winter Weather

For Immediate Release: December 2, 2020

Responding to winter weather events is a top priority for the City of Alexandria. City crews clear snow from more than 560 lane miles of roadway, 20 miles of City-owned walkways and trails, and 44 acres of municipal parking lots or City-owned squares. Snow and ice removal from this large network of streets and sidewalks takes time, hard work and communication between residents, business owners and the City. While commuting and travel patterns have changed significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is still important to keep the transportation network clear of snow and ice to permit travel by emergency vehicles and essential workers.

Months of advance planning, preparation and training before winter weather arrives help the City clear streets and sidewalks safely and effectively. During the winter, City staff track potential storms 24 hours a day, and on-call City crews and contractors are available around the clock to remove snow and ice.

Here are some important facts about snow removal and winter weather emergencies in Alexandria:

  • In Alexandria, storms are designated with levels based on type and severity, from Level 1 (least severe) to Level 3 (most severe). Storm levels are updated on the City’s website as the weather changes.
  • Roads are plowed by priority. Snow emergency routes are plowed first, followed by secondary routes, intermediate routes and residential streets. The City’s SnowReport tracking system enables residents to view plowing priorities and submit concerns.
  • 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 level: 
    • Level 1: 24 hours after snowfall stops
    • Level 2: 48 hours after snowfall stops
    • Level 3: 72 hours after snowfall stops
  • The City pretreats 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 and customers are asked to do the following to help snow crews and emergency responders during winter storms and other weather emergencies:

  • Stay off the roads in the event of snow or ice.
  • Do not park on snow emergency routes.
  • Keep shovels and salt or sand handy.
  • Prepare an emergency kit and have an emergency plan in place.
  • Clear ice, snow and leaves from around fire hydrants and storm drains, and avoid shoveling snow into the street.
  • Sign up to become a Snow Buddy and help your neighbors who are unable to shovel snow.

Visit alexandriava.gov/Snow for more information about the City’s winter weather plans and how to prepare for winter weather.

For inquiries from the news media only, contact Andrea Blackford, Senior Communications Officer, at andrea.blackford@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.3959.

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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/119164.

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