Snow Event Scenario


Presented on this page are examples of what might take place during a typical snow event during the week. The timing of the event, the rate and amount of snow, high wind, and/or the temperature may all change the scenario in one way or another. Every attempt is made to finish both the snow plowing and downtown snow removal in a normal 8 hour shift respectively, but overtime hours may be needed under certain circumstances.

At the same time that Street Department is plowing the streets, lots, alleys, and sidewalks the Park Maintenance crew is in the process of plowing the parking lots around Park and Recreation facilities as well as the sidewalks adjacent to Park property.

It's a merit to the crew of the Street Department and Park Maintenance that the City streets, lots, alleys, and sidewalks are so efficiently and consistently maintained during snow and ice control operations.

  1. A Typical Weekday
  2. A Typical Downtown Snow Emergency
  3. Between Snow Events

Any Tuesday in Winter

  • Snowfall begins: 11:30 am snow begins to fall lightly at first then heavier. By 1 pm the streets are starting to become slippery.
  • Plow/Sanding operations begin: 1 pm five plow/sanding trucks are dispatched to spread sand at controlled intersections, hills and any other trouble spots. Snow continues to fall at varying rates throughout the day.
  • Quitting time: 3:30 pm is quitting time at the Street Department. Five people are asked to stay and continue sanding operations to keep the priority streets drivable.  Two crews of five will be used if needed, 3:30 - 7:00 pm and 7:00 - 10:00 pm

Heavy Snow

8 pm the snow becomes heavy, the sanding crew cannot keep up with snowfall. There's about 3 inches on the ground. Calls begin to alert the entire street crew of a 4 am start on Wednesday to plow snow and the individuals working on the sanding crew go home at 10 pm. The Police are informed of Street Department status and schedule for snow plowing.

Wednesday - Snow Plowing

At 4 am on Wednesday all Street, Cemetery, and Garage personnel report to work for snow plowing. There's 6 inches of snow on the ground and the snowstorm is over. The motor graders and plow trucks report to their assigned priority streets and begin plowing. The cul-de-sac route truck begins plowing cul-de-sacs, and the loader and skid steer begin plowing City owned parking lots and alleys. Meanwhile, 1 mechanic from the garage begins the downtown City sidewalk route using a riding snow blower. 1 mechanic is left in the garage to handle any breakdowns or repair.  Downtown snow emergency route, all driving lanes are plowed, except Minnesota Street is plowed and snow piled up.

After finishing their priority routes the wheel loader, motor graders and dump trucks separate into plow teams. The north plow team and south plow team use Center Street as a divider. All east/west streets are plowed first, then north/south streets are completed. The hilltop plow team does all of the streets simultaneously until completed.

As the motor graders and dump trucks are plowing, the sanding truck is spreading salt/sand throughout the City at critical locations behind the plows. The parking lots, designated alleys, cul-de-sacs, sidewalks, and the snow dump are all plowed during this time.

Downtown Snow Emergency
Approximately mid-morning the decision is made to declare a "Downtown Snow Emergency". The proper media notifications are made to remove snow from downtown on Thursday.

By noon the City-wide snow plowing is complete. All personnel involved have worked an 8 hour shift. City streets, cul-de-sacs, parking lots, alleys, and sidewalks have all been cleared and sanded. The crew leaves for the day.