Snow Emergency Details

Map of Hennepin County snow emergency boundaries
Select City

Snow Emergency Hotline: 952-563-8768 A snow emergency in the City of Bloomington is automatically called whenever snow in excess of three inches has fallen, and may be called by City staff when conditions are warranted. The snow emergency remains in effect until the end of the snow event and resulting plowing activities. The strategy used to plow streets, sidewalks and other City facilities depends on the interaction of several factors:

  • Time the snow began.
  • Duration of snowfall.
  • Type of snow – light/dry or wet/heavy.
  • Temperature before and after snowfall.
  • High winds – drifting.
  • Snow accumulation.
  • Available equipment – breakdowns.
  • Available staff.
  • Street snow removal operations will begin when there has been a snowfall of more than 2.5 inches or if other conditions warrant plowing. Sidewalk snow removal will occur when there has been a snowfall of one inch or more with the goal of completing all residential sidewalks within 8 hours of a snowfall. Crews will begin plowing as soon as the storm subsides. City streets are divided into ten districts, with plows assigned to each district. Arterial streets will be cleared first, followed by residential streets. The snow plow must make several passes up and down the street to remove the snow; two to clear the center and two or more to widen the street gutter to gutter. Because plowing routes are sometimes long, it may be one hour or more between the clearing pass and the final widening pass. No parking is allowed on any City street between 2:00 am and 6:00 am or for more than 6 consecutive hours at any other time. Try not to park on streets, especially during and after a snowfall.
    The City of Brooklyn Park attempts to plow all streets within 24 hours of a “normal” snowfall. This requires up to 12 hours of operation for a “normal” two (2) to six (6) inch snowfall. Ice control is performed whenever necessary or after notification by Police patrol. Clean-up and additional ice control is performed the day(s) following the initial plowing. Parking is prohibited on any City street between the hours of 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. from October 15 to April 15 and any time after a snowfall of two (2) inches or more, until the street has been plowed from curb to curb.
    The city of Champlin Public Works Department begins plowing as soon as possible after snowfall ceases to avoid plowing twice, however, this is not always possible. Starting between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. snow will generally be plowed within 24 hours of the start of a snowfall. The City has ten plowing units. Each unit starts in a different area of the City. This requires approximately 10-12 hours, for a light to medium snowfall of 2 to 6 inches, to plow all City streets. Delays may occur in the event of equipment breakdown or extreme weather conditions. Arterial routes are plowed first and established to be an “early-plowed” route within 1/4 mile of each residence.
    Crews are dispatched immediately to sand and/or plow whenever ice or slippery conditions develop. Crews typically begin plowing at 2 a.m. to open the streets and cul-de-sacs with a single pass to provide residents with access to streets and highways as soon as possible. After all routes are open, second and third passes are made to widen roadways curb to curb and plow cul-de-sacs completely. If you have questions or concerns about snow plowing and ice control operations, contact Public Works at 952-227-1300 between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, or the Carver County Sheriff’s Department at 952-361-1231 after hours and on weekends and holidays. Per Chanhassen City Code, Section 12-16, on-street parking is prohibited between November 1 and April 1 between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. On-street parking is also prohibited when there are two inches or more of snow on a street until the street has been plowed curb to curb. Representatives of the Carver County Sheriff’s Department, Minnesota State Patrol, and Community Service Officers shall have the authority to impound vehicles in violation of this section.
    Policy is currently not available. 
    On-street parking is prohibited between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m.  After a snowfall of at least 1½ inches in the city, parking is prohibited on public streets and alleys until the street or alley has been plowed and the snow removed to the curb line.
    The city of Dayton street superintendent will decide when to begin snow or ice control operations. Criteria for operations are: 
    • Snow accumulation of 2 inches or more
    • Drifting of snow that causes problems for travel
    • Icy conditions which seriously affect travel
    • Time of snowfall in relationship to heavy use streets

     There is no parking on city streets from 2.00 am until plowed between Nov 1 and April 1 after any snowfall.

    Policy is currently not available.
    A snow emergency in the City of Eden Prairie is issued when snow accumulations reach 2 inches.

    The City of Edina begins snow or ice control operations when there is:

    • Snow accumulation of 1.5 inches or more;
    • Drifting of snow that causes problems for travel;
    • or Icy conditions which seriously affect travel.
    • Time of snowfall in relationship to heavy use of streets is also factored into decisions about when to plow.

    Generally, snowplowing operations will not be conducted for snowfall of less than 1.5 inches. Snow will be plowed in a manner so as to minimize traffic obstructions. The center of the roadway will be plowed first and then snow will be pushed from left to right on two-way streets.

    The City of Excelsior Public Works Superintendent determines when the crews begin plowing – usually as close as practical to the time the snowfall ceases. The call-out of equipment is dependent on the time and severity of the snowfall. The most critical times are morning and evening rush hour periods. A snow emergency is defined as every occurrence of snowfall where snow has accumulated to a depth of two inches or more. Each snow emergency shall commence at 1:00 am following the accumulation of snow to a depth of two inches and shall remain in effect on each city street until 7:00 am. During a snow emergency, no vehicle shall be parked on city streets, except in conformity with the following:
    • On all even-numbered calendar days, parking is permitted on the side of the city street with even-numbered house numbers from 1:00 am to 7:00 am
    • On all odd-numbered calendar days, parking is permitted on the side of the city street with odd-numbered house numbers from 1:00 am to 7:00 am
    • The city is divided into zones for plowing. The downtown zone is plowed first. Heavily traveled routes are plowed next, and the residential neighborhoods are plowed last.

    The city is divided into zones for plowing. The downtown zone is plowed first. Heavily traveled routes are plowed next, and the residential neighborhoods are plowed last.

    Policy is currently not available.

    In Golden Valley, the City begins plowing after snow accumulates to 2 inches or more. When snowfall continues for long periods, crews plow main arterial routes and “through” streets that connect neighborhoods to State and County roads to keep these roads passable until all City streets can be plowed. If strong winds and drifting cause unsafe conditions for snowplow drivers, plowing stops until conditions improve. However, efforts are made to continue plowing during rush hour to help people get home safely.

    To prevent obstructions during ongoing ice control operations, parking is prohibited on public streets and alleys Nov 1–March 31 from 2–6 am daily. Vehicles may be parked on private property in parking lots and driveways. To request a temporary exemption, fill out the online “Winter Parking Waiver” form. All waivers are temporary and void during snowfalls of 2 inches or more until snow has stopped falling and the streets are cleared curb to curb.

    The City of Greenfield will only salt the roads in snowfall is less than two inches. If snowfall is between 2-3 inches, the City of Greenfield will plow the paved streets and apply salt. If snowfall is above 3 inches, the City of Greenfield will plow both the paved and unpaved streets and apply ice control measures (salt on paved roads and rock chips on unpaved roads).
    The City of Greenwood contracts snow removal with the City of Dayton. Please see the City of Dayton for snow emergency and removal information.

    The Street Supervisor(s), as appointed by the City Council, along with City staff shall determine when snow and ice control operations shall begin.  Criteria for commencing operations are as follows:

    • Snow accumulation of 2+ inches, with continual snowfall;
    • drifting of snow that causes problems for travel;
    • Icing andor freezing rains affecting travel; and
    • time of snowfall in relationship to heavy use of streets

    Snow and ice control operations are expensive and involve the use of limited personnel and equipment. Consequently snowplowing operations will not generally be conducted for snowfall of less than 2 inches. Snow and ice control operations will not generally be conducted during the hours of midnight and 4:00am. On-street parking is not compatible with efficient snow plowing operations. The City of Hanover does have a “Snowbird Ordinance” which will be enforced. Section 800.03, subd. 4 of the Hanover City Code states: “”It is unlawful to park or leave standing any vehicle on any street between the hours of 2:00 o’clock a.m and 6:00 o’clock a.m. every day from November 1 of each year to April 1 of the year next following. If snow has fallen the prohibited hours on any street shall be from 2:00 a.m. to such time as snow plowing curb to curb has been completed on such street.”

    If the snowfall is 2 inches or more, a snow emergency may be declared. As soon as the announcement is made, residents must remove vehicles from the restricted locations (city streets and parking lots, right-of-ways, and the Municipal Parking Ramp) to avoid being towed. When deciding whether to call a snow emergency, the City not only looks at the short term forecast but also takes into consideration the time of year.

    This is INDEPENDENCE County Info.

    There is no set snow emergency policy for the City of Independence. Gravel roads will start to get plowed when there is at least 3 inches of snowfall. Pavement plowing is dependent on amount of snow, temperature, if ice is mixed in with snow, and time of day.

    The City of Long lake will initiate a snow emergency generally when there is 2 inches or more of snowfall.

    No vehicle shall be parked on any street, alley, boulevard, sidewalk or public ground so as to obstruct or hinder the plowing or removal of snow; and any police officer may cause such vehicle to be removed to a garage and the cost of such removal and storage shall be paid by the owner.

    Policy is currently not available.
    Parking on City streets is prohibited following a snowfall of 2″ or greater until the roadway has been cleared curb-to-curb. Parking on City streets is prohibited from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. year round. Place all recycling or garbage bins 5′ into the driveway to lessen the possibility of damage or tipping during snowplowing operations.
    The City of Maple Plain Public Works snow plowing and sanding operations begin when road conditions make driving difficult and are also dependent upon time of day, current snow depth, and forecast. Parking in the streets during snow removals is not allowed and causes a delay in the clearing of roads.
    • The City of Medicine lake contracts with a private contractor for it’s snow removal.
    • All snow plowing is based on current and future weather forecasts and conditions.
    • With a total of 12 blocks of roadway and NO ON STREET PARKING city wide makes it simple to clear.
    The City of Medina will use City employees, equipment, and/or private contractors to provide snow plowing and ice control services on City roads. When snowfall occurs, the City shall consider many different factors to determine level of snow plowing or ice control services, including, but not limited to:
    • amount of snowfall, usually a minimum of two to three inches;
    • time of day;
    • day of week;
    • wind speed and direction;
    • temperature;
    • personnel availability and safety;
    • equipment availability; and,
    • local weather forecasts (before beginning snow or ice control operations)
    Public Works considers all winter precipitation events to be a form of winter weather emergency. Whether it’s a freezing drizzle or a snowstorm that drops 14 inches of snow, appropriate crews are dispatched in response to the conditions. The response may range from a few sand/salt trucks to cover freezing bridge decks, to a full mobilization of up to 100 snow plows in a publicly declared Snow Emergency. Plow operators and support staff may work continuous back-to-back 12-hour shifts as necessary. Appropriate snow and ice control operations are always performed, regardless of whether or not the severity of the event warrants a Snow Emergency declaration. City ordinance states that a Snow Emergency may be declared when conditions warrant that effective and complete plowing can only be accomplished when vehicles are not on the street and in the way. The declaration of a Snow Emergency is actually a trigger that initiates a predefined set of parking regulations that allow for the complete plowing of streets. A typical Snow Emergency usually follows a sequence of events something like this: As the first snow begins to fall, sand/salt trucks with underbody plows are dispatched to predetermined routes on the most heavily used streets to keep traffic flowing. As the snow accumulation becomes plowable, motor graders and other plowing equipment are sent to bolster the effort. When it is evident that a Snow Emergency declaration is required, Public Works officials will notify the media and the Citys 311 agents, update the 348-SNOW hotline and City website, send an e-alert to all Snow Emergency Alert subscribers and inform all other communications outlets. Snow plowing staff automatically gear up for 12-hour shifts to commence the Snow Emergency enforcement and plowing at 9 p.m., when all available equipment is put into operation. Tagging and towing are carefully coordinated with the plowing to move vehicles that aren’t in compliance with Snow Emergency parking regulations. Plowing of alleys will begin at an appropriate time during this period and will be completed in about 12 hours. After the end of the three phases of the Snow Emergency, follow-up plowing, sanding and salting and miscellaneous clean up will follow for as long as is required. There is no exact amount of snowfall that automatically defines the declaration of a Snow Emergency. Typically, a four- to five-inch snowfall will be enough to require one but previous accumulations, forecasted weather conditions and time of year all come into consideration when Public Works officials make decisions. No two snow events and circumstances are exactly alike, so each potential declaration requires careful consideration. For example, a 3½ inch snowfall in January, following some lighter accumulations, may require a Snow Emergency while a six inch snowfall in March with an anticipated immediate warming trend may not.
    When two or more inches of snow have accumulated, snow and ice control operations move from sanding and salting to plowing the snow to the sides of the street. In most cases, plowing operations begin between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m.; the exact time depends on the predicted start of the snow storm, intensity of snowfall, and the expected end to the snowfall. Timing of the start of snow removal depends on when the snowfall ends. In most cases, snowplowing operations begin between 2–4 a.m., but the exact time depends on the predicted start and end of the snowfall and its intensity. Usually two inches or more of snow accumulation triggers the start of city-wide snow removal. Bare pavement is not the goals of snow removal in Minnetonka—instead, roadways are cleared then treated to hasten melting of any remaining snow. While we all have places to go and things to do, it’s unrealistic to expect driving in January to be as easy and trouble-free as driving in July—despite the very best efforts of our snowplow crews.
    There is no set amount of snowfall for determination of a snow emergency.
    Minnetrista has winter parking restrictions which state that there is no parking on City streets between 2 AM and 6 AM daily from Novemeber 1st through march 31st.

    Winter Parking Restrictions

    The city’s winter parking restrictions go into effect on November 15th and run through April 15th of each year. No vehicles are allowed to park on city streets from 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. during these dates.  This policy is in effect even when there is no snow.

    Snow and Ice Control

    The City crews usually have all snow removed from sidewalks within two days of the snowfall.  This can vary, however, with weather conditions. To report treacherous conditions on streets or sidewalks, call 952-472-0603.

    Policy is currently not available.
    It is the goal of the City of New Hope Public Works Department to have the entire street system cleaned after a typical snowfall in approximately 10-12 hours. Normally, city equipment operators begin their general plowing operation by 2 a.m. for a snowfall ending at 6 a.m.

    Parking on all city streets and municipal parking lots is prohibited from 2:00 a.m. – 6:00 a.m. all year.  Parking on all city streets is prohibited at any time when there is 2″ or more of snow until the streets are cleared.  Please refrain from parking on city streets whenever snow or ice conditions may require plowing. Orono Police Department monitors roads and contacts the Public Works Department when conditions warrant snow and ice control, including:

    • snowfall accumulation of 2 inches or more, or if conditions warrent;
    • acumulation of drifting snow;
    • ice and or freezing rain which affect road conditions.

    Once any of these conditions apply the goal is to have all the streets plowed within 12 hours after a snowfall.  Intersection cleanup and plowing back of snow banks occur within several days of the snowstorm. Normally plow operators will begin plowing at 4:00 a.m. to have the major streets plowed before the morning rush hour. If conditions warrant, the plow operators may plow all through the night.

    A City of Osseo Public Services employee, who is currently on-duty or an on-duty Osseo Police Officer, will measure any current snow fall at the Osseo Public Works Facility parking lot when there appears to be an accumulation of 2 inches or more (located at 800 Broadway Street East). If 2 or more inches have fallen in a single “snow event”, then the Public Services employee or Police Officer will report to the Public Services Director or Police Chief who will declare an official snow emergency. When a snow emergency has been declared, residents are not allowed to park vehicles on City streets starting at 12:00 midnight that evening until 6:00 AM the following morning. Then, from 6:00 AM to 12:00 midnight residents are allowed to park on City streets. However, beginning at 12:00 midnight until 6:00 AM the following morning, parking will be prohibited. After 6:00 AM on the second day of the snow emergency, the emergency will be considered over and residents may park vehicles on the City streets.

    Residents will be notified of a snow emergency declaration before 10:00 PM in order to be effective the same day, beginning at 12:00 midnight.

    A snow emergency is automatically in effect after two inches of snow has fallen. After two inches of snow has fallen, parking on the street is prohibited until the streets have been plowed curb to curb. Vehicles in violation may be ticketed and/or towed. Richfield’s snowplow crews try to clear the streets as quickly as possible after a snowfall so that driving is safer and easier for everyone. High volume “minor arterial roads” are plowed first, then neighborhood “collector” streets. The City also plows City-owned sidewalks and parking lots.
    Following a snowfall of at least two inches, the City of Robbinsdale may declare a Snow Emergency. Once declared, parking may not resume on a street, highway or alley until it has been plowed and the snow removed to the curb line. To help facilitate the City’s snow plowing effort, the police department will begin ticketing and towing parked vehicles during this time.
    The City of Rockford snow emergency policy states in order for crews to remove snow and ice from city streets, they must have the ability to safely and effectively maneuver a plow up and down our streets. If a snow or ice storm reaches the point that streets are becoming difficult to clear, city officials can declare a Snow Emergency. A Snow Emergency requires that vehicles be parked on the odd side of the street when the date ends in an odd number and on the even side of the street when the date ends on an even number. For example, on January 5th you would park on the odd side of the street. Police and public works crews will issue parking tickets at the cost of $50.00 to vehicles that are parked on the wrong side of the street. It’s safe to assume that if it’s snowing the Odd/Even Parking is in effect.
    The City of Rogers begins plowing when snowfall depth reaches at least 2” or when roadway conditions warrant a response by Public Works Personnel. Equipment dispatch is dependent upon timing and intensity, weather forecast, personnel and equipment availability, and street priority classification. The primary objective is to open streets to two-way traffic beginning with arterial and collector streets and followed by local streets. Cul-de-sacs are generally opened by plowing the outside edge first with full clearing occurring within 24 to 48 hours.  Due to environmental concerns, sanding/salting will be limited to steep grades, high volume intersections, school crossings, or icy patches on priority routes. Trails and sidewalks within arterial and collector street corridors and those within school walking zones will be plowed when accumulation exceeds 2” in a 24-hour period. The City of Rogers would like to remind residents that there is NO parking allowed on any City street from November 1 to March 31 from 2-6 a.m. If a vehicle is found to be parked between these hours, you can be given a citation and your vehicle may be towed. Private Property Snow Removal: The City of Rogers reminds property owners that State Law prohibits the placement of snow and ice from drive-ways in the public right-of-way. Shoveling snow/ice onto streets and highways creates unsafe driving conditions and increases the cost of snow removal.
    Parking is restricted to one side of the street from December 1 through March 1 on most neighborhood streets to facilitate snow removal. Streets with this regulation are clearly posted “No Parking Dec 1 – March 1”. A snow emergency can be declared in events of heavy snowfall or other inclement weather. During a snow emergency, no vehicle of any type may be parked on a street or alley during the duration of a snow emergency. Snow emergencies are declared by the Village Manager and are announced on local radio and television stations. Residents may also call the Shorewood Police Department at 414-847-2610 to see if a snow emergency has been declared.
    Residents of Spring Park are required to move cars off the street or from public parking during or immediately after a snowfall of one or more inches. Residents may return their vehicle to the street or parking lot after they have been completely plowed. If there is doubt about how much snow has fallen, the City of Spring Park encourages the movement of your vehicle regardless to assist our plowing efforts.
    The City of St. Anthony will declare a snow emergency when 2 inches of snow have fallen with restrictions on parking for 48 hours OR until curb to curb plow has been completed.
    The City of St. Bonifacius has a policy of no parking on city streets from November 1st through April 1st during the time period of 3 AM to 7 AM for snow removal. The City of St. Bonifacius also requests trash cans stay 3 feet back from curb for snow removal.
    The city has a Council-adopted Snow Removal/Ice Control Policy which provides for snow removal activities and establishes priorities for how this is accomplished. The Council has not established a “bare pavement” or ice free (safety) requirement. And recently, use of chemical and/or sand applications have been reduced due to environmental and budgetary implications – especially on streets where traffic volumes and speeds are low. Thus, treatment of slippery areas with chemicals/sand is essentially limited to high traffic thoroughfares, select hills and curves, and known hazardous intersections. Additional information is provided on our website under ice control practices. The city responds to emergencies when notified and responds to routine service requests during regular business hours. Main Plow Routes: Our primary ice control focus is on our higher volume roadways. These roadways are plowed first, and treated with the necessary chemicals / sand (to include treated salt) to minimize / remove or try to control icy conditions. Residential Streets: When icy conditions develop, our focus is on known trouble-spots having a higher accident potential due to slopes, curves, heavily traveled intersections by use of a chemical / sand mix to provide some traction. Neighborhoods streets are only treated with chemicals if pavement temperatures are expected to remain above 15 degrees.
    • Three inches of snow or more will still be the guideline for removing vehicles off the street; however, instead of the snow emergency going into effect at the time three inches of snow is observed, the city, using a combination of available forecasts, will declare a snow emergency in advance of the storm.
    • As always, vehicles parked on a street during a snow emergency are subject to ticketing. If your vehicle remains on the streets 12 hours after it’s ticketed, it will be towed.
    • The snow emergency will remain in effect until your street is plowed to the curb. As soon as your street is plowed to the curb, you may again park vehicles on the street.
    • Snow removal operations are not changing.The city will provide the same high-quality service following the same pattern it has in the past – plowing main drags and then moving into neighborhoods.
    • The new snow emergency declaration also provides additional flexibility. If the city received three back-to-back snow events of two inches each for three days, for instance, it could declare a snow emergency if needed to plow streets. Or in the spring if there is more than three inches of snow predicted, but also high temperatures the following day that would likely melt the snow, the city could decide not to call a snow emergency.

    When snow accumulation is less than three inches, plows may be dispatched but parking is not banned. However, snow plow drivers can do a better job of clearing streets if you park off the street even during minor snowfalls.

    There no set minimum threshold for a snow emergency declaration in Tonka Bay. Typically at 2 inches of snowfall, plowing operations will begin. However, this depends on temperature, ice, and time of day.
    If the snowfall is two or more inches by 8 p.m., the City of Wayzata snow parking regulations go into effect at 2 a.m. the next morning. At that time, snow plowing will begin and any vehicles parked on unplowed streets will be tagged and/or towed. If an accumulation of two inches or more occurs after 8 p.m., the snow parking ban will go into effect the following morning at 2 a.m. (24 hours later). If there is an accumulation of snow after 8 p.m., plowing may occur. Cars parked on the street will not be tagged, but cars may be plowed in.
    No person may park or leave unattended any vehicle on any public street, within the designated parking zones, in the City after two inches or more of snow has fallen until the street has been completely plowed. In addition to any other penalties imposed for violation of the Section, the Chief of Police is authorized to cause any vehicle parked or left unattended in violation of this Section to be towed from the street at that expense of the owner of the vehicle.