Snow Removal Policies & Tips
Winter can be a snowy experience in the City of Yakima, Washington. With frosty winter temperatures, snow and ice can be challenging for residents and the city street crews to control.
Snow Removal from the Streets
- The City of Yakima Public Works Department is devoted to keeping our streets as safe as possible, within a constrained budget. Prior to a major snow or freezing rain event, the City will attempt to spread de-icing material on all major arterial streets. Other priority locations include streets near schools, hospitals, stop signs and hills.
- When snow accumulations reach three inches, the City of Yakima will plow the major arterial streets, and the streets near schools, hospitals, hills and other critical locations. View the snow plow map
- During a major snow event, the City of Yakima utilizes contract labor to assist in responding to snow and ice control.
- Depending on the severity of the storm, it may take several hours to several days for life to return to normal. In the aftermath of the storm, be patient, self-sufficient, and travel only if it’s absolutely necessary.
- If you have concerns with the plowing of your street, please call 509-575-6005.
Clean Your Sidewalk
- Snow removal from sidewalks in front of your home and business is a responsibility of the owner or resident of the adjacent property. The best time to shovel snow is immediately after it falls and before ice can begin to form.
- After you clear the sidewalk of snow, you may choose to apply an ice-melting substance. The City of Yakima recommends use of Calcium Chloride, (sometimes called “hot melt”) rather than Sodium Chloride (Rock Salt) because it is less damaging to sidewalks and plants. Also, it works at a much lower temperature, so it is more effective in freezing conditions.
- If your home or business is at a corner, please remove the snow from the sidewalk ramps so children, and other pedestrians can cross the street.
- Dig out fire hydrants for your safety.
- If you can afford one, buy a snow blower, and help your neighbors. Make sure you blow the snow into your yard and not the street.
Please Don’t Take It Personally
- Pushing snow into a driveway opening, or along a car parked on the street is often unavoidable as city crews work to keep streets passable.
- Don’t throw snow from your sidewalk or driveway into the street – it’s against the law.
- To avoid having snow covering your driveway from the city plows, shovel your snow to the left of your driveway into your yard and not into the street.
- If you are elderly, disabled, or have other special conditions that makes snow removal hazardous, please call 2-1-1 which connects callers, at no cost, to critical health and human services in their community. For further information please visit their website at https://www.211.org/
Other Snow Tips for Residents
- Put Safety First and drive only if necessary. Dress warmly and be prepared for travel delays. Make sure you carry blankets, flashlights, water and other emergency provisions.
- Try to keep your vehicle off the street. If you must park on the street, park as close to the curb as possible.
- Don’t follow a de-icing spray truck, snowplow or sanding truck too closely. They may stop suddenly or spray sand, rocks or other material.
- Do not sled on streets or sidewalks.