Snow and Ice Remove Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What happens when it starts to snow?
The City of Providence retains a meteorologist for advanced weather forecasting services specifically for the Providence area. When a winter storm warning has been issued, we pre-treat city streets with salt and calcium chloride solution on our main roads, hilly areas, and overpasses. If time permits, we pre-treat secondary roads in our neighborhoods. This City has nearly 370 miles of roads. About an hour prior to snowfall all DPW plow crews, and when necessary, snow vendors are brought into the Public Works Complex to receive their assignments. Once the storm starts, plow trucks are sent out on designated routes to apply salt as necessary and begin plowing once the snow depth is approximately 2 inches. Main routes are completed first, followed by hilly areas, overpasses, roads around hospitals, fire departments, and public safety facilities. Secondary (residential areas) are treated next along with smaller streets and alleys. Once snowfall has ended, our plowing strategy is to work from the mains back into the neighborhood streets and then back to the mains as needed. The amount of time it takes us to do this depends on how much snow we receive.