City of Alexandria Provides Winter Weather Preparedness Information and Resources

Page archived as of December 16, 2021

This news release has been updated to indicate that the SnowReport Tracking System shows current roadway conditions.

City of Alexandria Provides Winter Weather Preparedness Information and Resources

­­For Immediate Release: December 2, 2021

As temperatures drop and the winter season approaches, the City of Alexandria offers information and resources about snow and ice removal; staying warm and safe; and being prepared for storms.

Snow Removal

Responding to winter weather events is one of the City’s top priorities. City crews clear snow from 561 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 City government. While commuting and travel patterns have significantly changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is still important to keep the transportation network clear of snow and ice to allow travel by emergency vehicles.

Here are some important facts about snow removal and winter weather emergencies 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 current roadway conditions.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.

Staying Warm

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 overnight winter shelter services for individuals and families experiencing homelessness are open in two locations, nightly from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., between December 1 and March 31. The winter shelter located at 2355-C Mill Road provides services to single adults, and Carpenter’s Shelter, located at 930 N. Henry St., provides services to families only. 

At all shelter locations, staff and guests will have their temperature taken; be asked standard COVID-19 symptom questions; and required to wear face masks, maintain 6 feet of distance and to periodically use hand sanitizer for the duration of their stay. Guests will be encouraged to wash their hands with soap and water when entering the facility and staff will frequently sanitize all high-touch areas throughout the shelter.

Staying Safe 

Don’t let winter weather take you by surprise. There are a variety of actions to take to stay safe: 

  • Stay off the roads in the event of snow or ice.
  • Prepare an emergency kit and have an emergency plan in place.
  • Clear ice, snow and leaves from around fire hydrants and storm drains. 
  • Heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths, according to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA). Half of home heating equipment fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February. Learn more about steps you can take to prevent most heating-related fires from happening.

Visit alexandriava.gov/Snow for more information about winter emergency preparedness, safety tips and snow removal in Alexandria. 

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

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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/125302

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