Let It Snow: City of Spokane Shares Plans For Keeping Up With Wi - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Let It Snow: City of Spokane Shares Plans For Keeping Up With Winter

SPOKANE, Wash. – It was just one week ago that snow blanketed the City of Spokane in an early season storm, and while the sun is now back out, it won't stay that way for long.

That's why the city is already starting snow staffing this week as the official snow season runs from November 15th – March 15th.

New this year: if you park on the street, city officials are asking you to move your car to the odd side of the street to allow for plows to do their job.

Also this year, there are more ways than ever for people who live in Spokane to get alerts and communications regarding snow removal, where plows are and where they plan to be next.  For instance, new electronic message signs installed along arterials like Division Street, 3rd Avenue and the Maple/Ash corridor will help convey information about road conditions and closures to drivers passing by. 

On top of that, the city is expanding its text-message alert system.  You can sign up to receive text alerts about conditions in your neighborhood by texting 509-385-5775.  You can also call the city's snow line at 509-456-2666 to get the latest on snow events and closures.  The city's Twitter and Facebook pages will also be sources of updates, as well as the city's website and neighborhood email distribution networks.

A "stage one" snow event is declared when there are 2 inches of snow on the ground and more is expected.  Streets Director Mark Serbousek said that's when crews will be focusing on arterials, hospital areas, hills and business districts – often plowing even before 2 inches have fallen.

Then, a "stage two" event is declared when 6 inches are on the ground and more is expected.  At this point, crews will plow residential areas and bring in private contractors to help keep up with demand.

There is $1 million left in the budget for snow removal through December 31st.  For the 2014 calendar year the budget is $2.5 million.  If major events deplete the budget there is the possibility of dipping into reserve funds with city council approval.

At a press conference Tuesday, Mayor David Condon said the goals are to improve safety for drivers, emergency responders, and keep the flow of commerce moving throughout the city despite what Mother Nature may dish out this season.

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