Snow Information

What happens when it starts to snow?

Prior to snow accumulation, and new this year, the City will be applying de-icing solution to our Snow Routes. Once the storm warning is issued, depending upon the timing and nature of the pending storm, crews are brought in. Once the storm starts, gritter (sander) trucks are sent out on designated Snow Routes to apply sand and salt mixtures as necessary. Trucks will remove snow for the snow routes to ensure they are passable. Snow Routes are completed first, then secondary (residential areas) and then the smaller streets and alleys.

How is a Snow Emergency declared?

The Director of Public Works and Police Chief or their alternates determines that a Snow Emergency exists and reports same to the Administrative Coordinator.

Once the Snow Emergency has been declared how long do we have to remove our vehicles?

Under City Codified Ordinance 74.10: There shall be no parking of any motor vehicle, trailer, or other appurtenance on the City street whenever the U.S. Weather Bureau has forecasted snowfall of two inches or more for Southeastern South Dakota, whenever two inches of snowfall in the city limits of Canton, or when the City declares a snow emergency.

Parking may resume on any street on which snow removal operations have been completed curb to curb.

Why does the plow not remove all of the snow from my road?

The plows are designed to ride on “guides” (shoes) that raise the blade approximately 3/8 inch from the surface of the roadway. We also use “gravity” plows, which tend to ride on top of compacted snow. This is done to prevent damage to both the vehicle and infrastructure from raised manholes, catch basins or water valves. When plowing, our goal is to make residential streets passable; not to clear them to the bare pavement. Once the street has been plowed and sand/salt mixture is spread, the interaction of the salt and vehicular traffic is required to melt the remaining snow cover. Streets with low traffic volumes will therefore remain snow covered longer.

Who removes the snow from sidewalks?

Under City Codified Ordinance 95.070: (a) The owner or person in possession of any property abutting on any sidewalk shall keep the sidewalk free from snow and ice and shall remove any snow or ice from the sidewalk within 48 hours after the termination of any snow fall, snow or ice accumulation. (b) The owner or person in possession of any property abutting upon any sidewalk which ends at an intersection or crosswalk shall maintain the sidewalk free from snow and ice to the edge of the street. Snow and ice deposited on the sidewalk in the street removal process shall be removed within 48 hours of being deposited.

Can I throw the snow in the street when I shovel out my car or my sidewalk/driveway area?

Under City Codified Ordinances 95.072: It is unlawful for any person to throw or put, or cause to be thrown or put, any snow or ice into any street, avenue or other public place in the city. It only makes the situation worse for everyone. This ordinance does not apply business properties that exist in the central business district. The police department may issue citations for this behavior.

What material do you use for winter control?

Conditions may warrant the application of sand or salt or a mixture thereof. Salt is a very effective de-icing agent; however it becomes less effective as temperatures decrease. Sand has no de-icing properties and is used as an abrasive substance to increase traction for vehicles.

Starting this year, the City will begin using calcium chloride to assist in de-icing, anti-icing, and also use as pre-wetting for our salt to create a brine solution. The chemical will also have a corn based rust inhibitor.