City of Cleveland Prepares for Winter Weather Wednesday, December 14 – Friday, December 16, 2016


The City of Cleveland is preparing for snow and cold weather for the end of this work week. We encourage all residents to be prepared for winter weather as the National Weather Service has issued a Lake Effect Storm Advisory for Cleveland. Lake effect snow will develop this evening and be heavy at times into Thursday night. In addition, winds of 20 mph to 25 mph with gusts of up to 40 mph near Lake Erie are expected and wind chill temperatures range from -5 to -15 degrees tonight.img_8000webThe best way to fight off the cold is to stay indoors, with heat! If your home is inadequately heated, go to a neighbor’s or relative’s house.  Make sure to check on neighbors, especially those who are elderly or have small children. Bring your pets indoors. The City of Cleveland will continue to evaluate the weather and if necessary, will open warming centers.

Currently, the Department of Public Works has 69 trucks prepared with plows and salt and are staffed with 106 drivers divided into 3 shifts on a 24 hour basis. Give yourself extra time for travel, especially for the morning commute. Remember to drive slow in ice and snow and know before you go by checking real-time traffic conditions on the Ohio Department of Transportation’s OHGO website:

The City of Cleveland released its Winter Weather Plan in November (Read the entire plan here). This comprehensive plan provides snow removal service to all city streets during a snow fall event that may produce anywhere from 1 to 6 inches of snow. The following are highlights from that plan:

The City has a total fleet size of:img_8020web

  • 75 snow removal vehicles
  • 10 pick-up trucks equipped with plows
  • 13 road graders to be used as needed
  • 123 drivers to work three shifts during a snow fall event.

During a snow and ice event, service is directed to the primary main/secondary thoroughfares. These routes will be serviced until the primaries are fair but passable allowing for service to the residential streets as soon as possible.

The City has 57,241 tons of salt on hand and 23,000 gallons of liquid de-icer.

Reminders from the Department of Public Safety:

Pay attention to snow parking bans. If snow accumulation exceeds 2 inches or more, a Snow Emergency Parking Ban may be enacted. The ban allows plows sufficient time to remove snow and ice and move through city streets at a good pace. When a snow ban goes into effect, stopping, standing, and parking of vehicles will be restricted and prohibited on City streets with posted red and white signs. Anyone who fails to comply will be ticketed and towed. For more information on parking bans, visit:

Don’t Block the Box. Ensure you can move all the way through an intersection before the traffic signal changes. Stopping in the middle of an intersection prohibits oncoming vehicles from passing through that intersection and can result in grid lock. In addition, be aware of traffic control officers who may be outside on the street directing traffic.

Check Emergency Supply Kits. Do you have extra winter clothes, sufficient food and water, extra batteries, flashlights, and a battery or hand-crank radio? What about medications, toys for the kids, pet food, and copies of important information such as numbers for your local utilities? While checking on your own supplies, take some time to check on your neighbors and the elderly.  Ensure that all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your home are working properly.

Take personal precautions and check on the vulnerable. The cold weather may put a strain on your heart; follow your doctor’s advice about shoveling snow or other strenuous work.  Many injuries result from falls on ice-covered surfaces; make sure to keep steps and walkways clean and free of ice.  Infants and the elderly are most at risk for cold-related illness; keep in touch with elderly or at-risk neighbors or relatives, making sure they are safe and that their homes are adequately heated.

Dress appropriately in the cold. Almost all cases of hypothermia and frostbite are preventable.  If you must be outside, dress appropriately: wear loose fitting layers to provide overall body warmth, a hat, scarf, mittens and boots will provide additional protection from the elements.  Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.  Keep dry, change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat.

If you suspect hypothermia or frostbite, call 911 immediately; if possible, protect the person from further exposure to the cold, remove any wet clothing and warm without rubbing the affected areas.

Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water. Don’t forget or skip planning and preparing for your animals!

Reminders from the Department of Public Utilities:

Keep the phone numbers of your utilities handy, such as the CPP Power Outage number (216-664-3156), to report problems quickly during severe, or any, weather. In the event of a power outage during cold weather, never use your stove or oven to heat your home. Visit to learn more.

Take these simple steps to reduce the likelihood of frozen pipes and meters that can damage your property and be expensive to repair.

  • Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses to allow water to drain from the pipe.
  • Insulate pipes or faucets in unheated areas.
  • Seal off access doors, air vents and cracks. Repair broken basement windows.
  • Find the master shut-off valve and mark it. If a pipe bursts anywhere in the house, this valve can turn off the water and help limit further damage.
  • Leave a pencil-lead-thin stream of water flowing during cold spells to help prevent faucets or water service lines from freezing.

If you do experience frozen equipment on your property, turn off the water at the master shut-off to limit damage.  Then, contact a plumber or a private contractor to thaw your lines/meter. For winterization and leak detection tips, please visit

Cleveland Water will work as quickly as possible to investigate every water emergency call, making repairs that affect safety and/or service first. Please call 216-664-3060 to report a water main break or water emergency.

Rain And Melting Snow Need Some Place To Go: Sewer storm drains help protect streets and properties from flooding during snow melts and heavy rains. Storm drains work properly when they are clear of leaves and litter. Keep your street’s storm drains clear of snow and ice. Before and after a snowfall, and especially after snow plows pass through, check storm drains near your home or business and make sure they are free of debris. Use a rake or shovel to remove blockages. Never remove grates to clean debris from storm drains. If a storm drain is blocked and difficult to clear, or if a grate or sewer manhole cover is missing, immediately call Cleveland Water Pollution Control (WPC) at 216-664-2513. You also can message WPC on Facebook at, or visit the WPC website at


The City of Cleveland implemented the CodeRED system earlier this year to quickly deliver alert messages regarding emergency situations (severe weather) or city service interruptions (road closures) to residents. Download the free mobile app or sign up for CodeRED emergency alerts by clicking the CodeRED logo, located on the right side of the City’s website:

More tips for staying safe and healthy during Winter Weather:

Actions to take before, during and after winter weather:

Extreme Cold: A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety:

Winter Weather: Plan. Equip. Train.

Stay tuned to local weather and news for changing conditions, accidents and more.

For up-to-date information from the City of Cleveland

Visit or follow us on Twitter @CityofCleveland

Dial 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency.

Dial 3-1-1 for concerns about City services related to the Winter Weather