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  • Snow Anchor LinkSnow Operations

    How the City prepares for and cleans up after a snow event.



    The city’s snow removal operations on Syracuse streets are in service 24 hours a day during winter months. It includes pretreatment, plowing, snow alert communications, and enforcing snow removal.   


    1. Pre-Treatment: Salting

    The city’s pre-treatment process entails salting by spreading rock salt on roads in anticipation of and/or under certain weather conditions. The city sees an average of 30,000 tons of rock salt each winter. In extreme cold, the effectiveness of salt decreases so the City is also monitoring temperature conditions when deciding whether pre-treatment is appropriate.   


    2. Plowing Primary Roads and Emergency Routes

    During a prolonged snowfall event, plows focus on clearing primary and service roads for emergency services. Plow trucks clear high volume roadways, emergency routes, areas of significant grade change/hills, and streets surrounding major destinations first. In Central New York, the city, county and state governments work together to clear highways and service roads. If you have questions about a major service road or roads near (but outside of) city limits, be sure to contact your neighboring town, village, or  Onondaga County.    


    3. Snow Alert Communications and Resident Responsibilities 

    The city issues snow safety alerts to also inform residents of their roles and responsibilities related to snow removal during a significant winter weather event. 

    • Listen to the radio or watch local news stations for the latest road conditions. 
    • If commuting is required, drive slowly and allow time for vehicles to stop during snow and icy conditions. 
    • Property owners must clear snow surrounding fire hydrants and remove snow from sidewalks by 6:00 p.m. in the evening following the snow event. More information is available under sidewalks . The City will monitor compliance with sidewalk snow removal or snow-related city ordinances. 
    • Move vehicles from the street whenever possible to allow plows to enter neighborhoods from main roads. More information is available under parking.  


    4. Residential Streets 

    Once plow trucks clear high-volume roadways and emergency routes, they are able to enter neighborhood side streets. Residential corridors can expect to see plows after the high-volume and emergency routes are clear and persistent snow has stopped. Please be patient while crews work to provide clearing services across more than 400 miles of city streets.