City tips on managing the snow

I shared the same post from the City of Bend on Facebook but it’s worth posting here as well. The City of Bend sent out an email today with tips to share for everyone managing the snow and understanding the plowing situation:

This winter’s buildup of snow is not business as usual, and we need the community’s help in providing the best street maintenance and public safety service possible. We are expecting a lot more snow in the next couple of days. The City of Bend is asking for residents’ help in protecting themselves and their neighbors by parking vehicles off the street whenever possible to allow plows drivers to clear streets as widely as possible, not only for you but also for emergency vehicles such as Fire Engines.

Media contacts if you want to talk about parking and:

  • Road clearing: Jon Skidmore, Assistant City Manager, 541-693-2175, jskidmore@bendoregon.gov
  • Emergency vehicles’ access: Bend Fire Department Battalion Chief Dave Howe, 541-322-6313, dhowe@bendoregon.gov

Also: When the City is plowing these significant record levels of snow, the snow may end up as a berm across a driveway, or covering a sidewalk or a fire hydrant. We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause. We do not have the resources to shovel out driveway berms and fire hydrants. This is the responsibility of residents.

During the snowfall, streets are typically, initially opened with one pass through to make it just passable for drivers. This is our first priority. As weather conditions change, crews often alter their snow-clearing strategies in the midst of operations to control drifting snow, ice or other special emergency situations. Plow drivers often end up making multiple passes in order to clear a street.

A snow removal tip from the Streets and Operations Department to reduce your shoveling workload: If you want to clear your driveway (or curb/sidewalk/mailbox/hydrant) before the snowplows come, also clear an area on both sides of your driveway and out in the right-of way (about three or four feet, creating a large pocket in front of your home) and pile snow onto your yard, not in the street. This may reduce the huge pile of snow in your driveway when snowplows clear your street. The more snow you clear from these areas, the less will be deposited at your driveway entrance.

You can find details on City’s Winter Street Operations here.

And the Bend Fire Department sent out a PSA today about the importance of clearing snow from your roof:

As the snow gets deeper and deeper on roofs, the Bend Fire Department recommends that you get a qualified professional to remove the extra loading, for several reasons:

  • Excess snow on the roof can weaken and potentially collapse a structure, particularly an older building with a shallow pitched roof.
  • Snow melting on a roof can refreeze into ice dams, which force subsequent snow melt to leak into the structure.
  • Melting snow can freeze into icicles, which can cause serious injury if they fall on people, and
  • Deep snow on a roof can bury a gas appliance flue, causing the exhaust to enter the home. This condition can introduce carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless poisonous gas in the building.

Make sure your gas vent is clearly above the level of the snow, and monitor it when new storms are predicted.

And, this week you can park in the downtown garage overnight for free to help crews in clearing the streets:

Downtown Bend Parking Garage overnight restrictions have been relaxed through this Friday, January 13th as the City of Bend encourages downtown employees and patrons to avoid parking on local roads to assist crews working to clear streets.

Downtown employees and patrons who feel that they need to leave their car downtown overnight can park in the Parking Garage located at 61 NW Oregon Avenue without receiving a ticket between the hours of 6 pm and 8 am.

This change in restrictions is aimed at removing cars from downtown roads and parking spaces, allowing plowing crews to clear additional room. Plows will be through downtown regularly for the duration of the storm.

As I’ve seen pointed out, this is the type of storm and winter Central Oregon gets only once every 20 to 25 years or so. (You’ll hear long-timers compare this one to the winter of ’92-’93.) It’s certainly shaping up to be such a winter and with another storm warning in place for the next couple of days it’s best to stay cautious and do what you can to keep the snow clear.