Gearing Up for Winter Weather

Page updated on Nov 26, 2019 at 4:47 PM

Emergency response, including snow and ice removal operations, is a top priority and core service for the City of Alexandria’s snow response teams, public safety and emergency management.

Did you know…

…the City earned a national award for its snowfighting practices? In 2012, the City of Alexandria won its first “Safe and Sustainable Snowfighting” award from the Salt Institute for excellence in environmental consciousness and effective management in the storage and application of winter road salt. Using the latest anti-icing technology, the City recently expanded its capacity to make and use salt brine (liquid salt) in order to reduce its reliance on rock salt. Spraying salt brine on bridges, overpasses and snow emergency routes before winter weather arrives is fundamental to the City’s anti-icing program, and helps prevent freezing precipitation from bonding to pavements. As a result, roads stay wet and clear and the City uses less salt over time – an effective, economical and more environmentally-friendly solution than spreading rock salt.

…that the City’s preparations for winter weather begin during the summer? This year, the City held two “Snow Safety Rodeos,” promoting safe equipment operation and skill enhancements through individual competition. On standby are more than 54 pieces of snow removal equipment and 120 crew members with more than 7,000 tons of salt available to keep roads clear.

…that snow and ice storms produce an average accumulation of 15 inches annually in Alexandria? That amount is generally spread over several events in a typical winter. For FY 2014, the City has budgeted $836,000 for snow and ice control. Compare that with Syracuse, New York, a city similar in size and population to Alexandria, which receives a total accumulation of more than 115 inches, and a snow and ice control budget of $4 million.

…that during the winter months, City staff track potential storms 24 hours per day and on-call City crews and contractors are available to begin working in 12-hour shifts when winter weather is forecasted? If there is a snow emergency, essential employees, public safety, and emergency management staff work in around the clock to ensure that the City and its residents weather the storm.

…that you can help the City in its snowfighting efforts by removing snow from sidewalks, driveways and entrances on your property in compliance with City Code? Learn more about the City’s ordinance for snow removal on sidewalks and pathways.

…that one of the most important things you can do is to make sure you and your loved ones are prepared for a snow emergency? Learn how you can prepare for winter weather emergencies