The City of Alexandria reminds residents and businesses to monitor weather conditions and prepare for the likelihood of snow accumulation this weekend. The latest National Weather Service forecast calls for the possibility of one to four inches of snow on Saturday and Sunday. While this is not expected to be a major storm, travel by vehicle or on foot may be treacherous. Having food, water, medicine and other supplies on hand reduces the need to travel before roads are cleared.
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. Removing snow and ice from this large network of streets and sidewalks takes time, hard work, and communication between residents, business owners, and the City.
Months of advance planning, preparation, and training before winter weather begins helps the City to clear streets and sidewalks safely and effectively each snow season. During the winter months, City staff track potential storms 24 hours a day, and on-call City crews and contractors are available around the clock to perform snow and ice removal.
Here are important facts to know 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 then residential streets. The City’s SnowReport tracking system allows residents to view plowing priorities, check the status of individual streets, and submit concerns.
- Clearing sidewalks, driveways, and entrances is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner, occupant, community association, or business. Time limits are determined by the storm level: Level 1 = 24 hours, Level 2 = 48 hours, Level 3 = 72 hours.
- The City pretreats roads with brine in advance when low temperatures or precipitation are possible but rain is not expected. This preventative 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.
- Don’t 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.
For more information about preparing for winter emergencies and the City’s winter weather plans, visit alexandriava.gov/Snow.