snowflakes, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Jerome Paz’s photostream

Snow Event Update: Pittsburgh Rises to Level 3 Storm, Refuse Collection Suspended, Roads Being Plowed, Salting Set to Resume

PITTSBURGH, PA (January 23, 2016) The Pittsburgh Department of Public Works has raised this weekend’s snow event to a Level 3 storm, meaning with more than 6 inches of snow crews are focusing on primary and secondary routes, and will clear all streets within 48 hours of the end of the snowfall.

Saturday’s refuse collection has been suspended for the safety of Environmental Services workers, and to allow more space on roadways for plows and salt-spreaders. Residents may leave their refuse at the curb and it will be picked up Monday orTuesday.

The weekend snowfall has been slightly more heavy in the city than predicted Friday. While some city neighborhoods have received slightly less than 6 inches of snow accumulation, other neighborhoods are receiving more than that amount, which prompted the move to a Level 3 storm response.

Residents should contact the 311 Response Center if a street is not treated within the designated 48-hour timeframe following a storm. The 311 response center is open this weekend from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for non-emergency calls, such as reports of downed trees or water main breaks.

Crews have been working in 12-hour shifts and plowing streets since 6 p.m. Saturday. When snowfall begins tapering off around noon today the crews will additionally begin treating streets with a mixture of salt and liquid calcium chloride.

As of 10:30 a.m. Saturday there were 66 DPW vehicles plowing city roadways. Residents are urged to follow their progress on the city’s Snow Plow Tracker site, and to stay off roads when possible to allow crews to service them.

Crews started their latest shift at 6 a.m. today and will work a 12-hour shift until to 6 p.m. At that time DPW intends to bring in another 12-hour shift to work overnight into Sunday morning.

Winter Storm Levels & 311 Response Center

The Department of Public Works classifies storm conditions into Winter Storm Levels. Levels determine the required response timeframe for a given snowstorm. Based on the Storm Levels, it will be expected that all streets will be serviced with clearly defined response times.

Depending on the severity or level of the weather event it can take up to 48 hours to treat the streets with salt and/or calcium chloride after a snow/ice event.

  • Level 1 Event (1 – 3″): Crews have 24 hours after the storm has ended to treat streets.
  • Level 2 Event (3 – 6″): Crews have 32 hours after the storm has ended to treat streets.
  • Level 3 Event (6 – 10″): Crews have 48 hours after the storm has ended to treat streets.
  • Level 4 Event (> than 10″): Calls will not be taken until weather event drops to a Level 3 (6-10″).

Winter Weather Resources

The City of Pittsburgh Snow Plow Tracker is a resource available to monitor the travel history for all vehicles dedicated to snow and ice control throughout the time frame of a snow event.

Residents should contact the 311 Response Center if a street is not treated within the designated timeframe following a storm.

Visit the Office of Emergency Management Winter Storm Preparedness Guide for helpful tips on how to be prepared for a winter storm and below freezing temperatures. Shoveling Snow: It is a violation of city policy to shovel snow into the street. Snow should be piled on lawn areas, close to the curb or in the front and/or rear of your vehicle.

Citiparks facilities will maintain regularly scheduled hours and programming.

Residents are reminded to visit the City of Pittsburgh Snow Resource Center for all weather related information.