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Snow Removal Program

What happens when winter weather is forecasted? 

When winter weather is predicted, the Street Department activates its snow policy. Salt and sand spreaders and snow plows are mounted onto 15 City trucks. Coworkers work around the clock in 13-hour shifts for the duration of the event.

What does the City do when winter weather begins?

If snow is forecasted, crews apply a salt brine solution to major thoroughfares, bridges, and overpasses 24 to 48 hours in advance. This practice helps to prevent snow from sticking to the pavement and makes plowing and additional salting more effective.

If snow or freezing rain begins to fall, crews spread a salt and sand mixture on bridges and overpasses first, since they are safety hazards. The salt prevents ice from forming and begins the melting process. The sand helps with traction.

Next, the heavily traveled streets are treated. If a significant accumulation of snow and ice occurs, generally greater than one inch, crews begin plowing streets.

How do you determine which streets are cleared first?

During a snow event, the City treats more than 230 miles of streets. Major thoroughfares, such as Lenoir Rhyne Boulevard, N.C. 127, and Tate Boulevard, are cleared first, followed by minor thoroughfares. Crews only clear residential streets when the main priority streets have been cleared.

How much salt does the City have?

The salt storage facility holds up to 500 tons of salt and 500 tons of sand.

Where does the City get its weather information?

The City uses a combination of sources including the internet, local news media, and the National Weather Service.

What type of training do the snow crews have?

Each fall, crews receive refresher training on proper procedures for loading and unloading equipment, plowing and salting, reviewing and updating snow routes.

How is the equipment maintained?

Trucks and equipment are cleaned after each event to minimize corrosion. Each piece of equipment is thoroughly cleaned in the spring and undergoes preventive maintenance in the summer to ensure it's in good condition.

What about the snow pile the city trucks leave in front of my driveway?

When snow plows clear the streets in your neighborhood, extra snow can collect along the curb and in front of driveways. Since it would drastically slow the snow removal process, our crews are not able to remove snow from residential or commercial driveways. If needed, please remove the extra snow and place it near the edge of the street or in your yard. If you put it back in the street, plows could push it back into your driveway when they come by again.

For more information on snow and ice removal, please call the Street Department at (828) 323-7500.