Warmer temps, less significant snowfall mean no Snow Emergency in Minneapolis

City crews are out plowing and treating the streets following today’s snowfall, and they’ll continue their work around the clock tonight. But with only three inches of snowfall and relatively warmer temperatures in Minneapolis, the City is not declaring a Snow Emergency. However, plows can do a better job plowing if there are fewer cars on the streets, which means clearer roads for you and your neighbors. So when it’s possible try to keep your cars off the streets until after the plows come through.

City crews started plowing and treating streets this morning, and will be out on back-to-back 12-hour shifts through the rest of the day and night. Today there are 33 plows out on city streets. Tomorrow, crews will continue plowing and treating streets through the day.  Citywide alley plowing will begin at 8 a.m., and should be completed in about 12 hours.


The relatively warm temperature is causing plowed streets to clear to just wet pavement, and other accumulated snow may consolidate and stay soft, rather than freezing solid. However, more snow is in the forecast in the next few days, so residents should stay tuned in case a Snow Emergency is needed after the next snowfall.

When a Snow Emergency is declared in Minneapolis, parking restrictions take effect so crews can plow more than 1,000 miles of streets from curb to curb. That’s the equivalent of 3,200 “lane miles” of streets that need to be plowed—enough to plow a lane from Minneapolis to Anchorage, Alaska. Snow Emergencies are typically declared after significant snowfall and before 6 p.m. on any given day. Once declared, the Snow Emergency parking restrictions begin at 9 p.m.

Spreading the word about Snow Emergencies

Minneapolis offers residents, workers and visitors a number of tools to help people learn when Snow Emergencies are declared and what to do when they are. We’re advising drivers to put several of these tools to use, not just one or two. The more ways they have to learn about a Snow Emergency, the less likely they’ll be towed because they didn’t know one was declared.

Non-English Snow Emergency information

Information on Snow Emergency is also available in other languages on the City’s website. If you know anyone who primarily speaks Spanish, Hmong, Somali, Oromo, Vietnamese or Lao, you can direct them to www.minneapolismn.gov/languages for information in their language on Snow Emergency and much more.

Remember to shovel sidewalks and shovel around your garbage carts

Sidewalks are a critical part of our city’s transportation system. That’s why it’s important for homeowners and businesses to keep their sidewalks shoveled. Minneapolis ordinance requires that property owners clear sidewalks at homes and duplexes within 24 hours after a snowfall. Property owners of apartment and commercial buildings are responsible for clearing the sidewalks within four daytime hours of a snowfall.  For your own benefit and to let your neighbors who are walking, pushing strollers and using wheelchairs get around, please do your part.

Published Feb 22, 2013



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