Winter and Snow Plan

Snow and winter storms typically hit the Northeast Ohio region each year and can include strong winds, rain, snow and ice. Severe conditions can cause power outages and hazardous driving conditions for residents, especially around the holiday season, which is one of our busiest times for travel. 


There are approximately 3,000 lane miles in the city and it can take between 3-4 days to plow every street, depending on how many inches of snow has accumulated.

Snow Policy by Inches 


To receive the latest alerts, please sign up to CodeRED notifications here or call 3-1-1.


To monitor the City's snow response, a snowplow tracker is available to residents and provides an overview of how recently each street was plowed. Track our snow response here.

Please keep in mind that this tracker is only active during snow events and reports information on a 15-minute delay. 


  • 9-1-1 for emergencies.
  • 3-1-1 Citizen Support Center for all non-emergencies, snow-related service requests (i.e. snow parking bans, missed street, tree down, pothole repair, furnace repairs etc.)
  • United Way 2-1-1 for support for seniors, homeless shelters or other social services.
  • Your utility company or Cleveland Public Power at 216 664-3156 for power outages or down power lines.&
  • Cleveland Water at 216 664-3060 for burst water mains.


The safety of our residents is our top priority. To better prepare for a major snow or weather event, the Bibb administration is implementing the following changes for the 2022-23 winter season:

  • New technology – Eliminating paper maps to make routes more efficient, testing new GPS tracker technology for accuracy, as well as the optimization of snow and ice control routing citywide.
  • Additional staffing – Staffed with more seasonal drivers and radio operators across three shifts, operating over a 24-hour cycle.
  • Material readiness –  Equipped with 22,000 tons of salt, 23,000 gallons of liquid de-icer and plans to pilot additional anti/de-icers this season.
  • Enhanced equipment – Piloting abrasion resistant rubber-ceramic plow blades that help reduce damage to roadways and the need for plow blade changes.

There are three phases involved in the City’s snow response:

  1. Pre-treatment - Commence pre-treatment with salt or a salt and de-icing mix depending on conditions at least 6 to 8 hours prior to temperatures falling below freezing. 
  2. Monitoring & mobilization - Monitor conditions and mobilize seasonal drivers to commence plowing when snow accumulations reach 2 inches.
  3. Getting the snow up - Continuously plow until the snow stops, starting with main and secondary streets first, followed by residential streets. This is to ensure high-traffic streets are passable for residents and emergency vehicles.

*The City is responsible for clearing main, secondary and residential streets. ODOT is responsible for the interstates. Home and business owners are responsible for clearing snow, sleet and ice from sidewalks. 


During a major snow or weather event, the Department of Public Safety may declare a Snow Emergency Parking Ban for a limited time. Sometimes, parking bans may be extended depending on weather conditions. This means:

  • Vehicles are prohibited from parking on City streets with posted red and white signs for the duration of the ban.
  • Vehicles in violation are subject to citation and towing.

Moving parked cars from the streets helps make our removal more efficient and ensures emergency vehicles can respond. 

The City will notify residents in advance if a parking ban is declared so residents can plan accordingly.  


The City of Cleveland extends the normal operating hours of recreation centers to serve as warming centers for Cleveland residents that are seeking shelter during major snow and weather events.  
Warming Centers provide temporary relief for homeless and vulnerable individuals but do not operate as overnight shelters. 

Recreation Center staff connect individuals to nearby shelters and social services to provide ongoing support and accommodation. 

Please call 2-1-1- to facilitate access to shelters or go to shelters directly.  


Trash and recycling collection may run on a 1-day delay all week following major snow or weather events. 

See the regular and bulk pick-up week schedule here


Before a power outage

  • Gather one week’s worth of food and prescriptions. 
  • Keep your devices charged and have extra batteries for radios and flashlights.
  • Ensure that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working.
  • Fill up your car with a full tank of gas in case outages impact gas pumps. 

During a power outage

  • Call your utility company to report outages. If your utility company is Cleveland Public Power, call 216 664-3156.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
  • If possible, use flashlights instead of candles. If you must use candles, never leave a burning candle unattended. Never go to sleep with candles burning.
  • Unplug sensitive electronics to avoid power surges when power is restored.
  • Be a good neighbor. Check on family, friends, and neighbors, especially the elderly, those who live alone, those with medical conditions, and those who may need additional assistance.


Driving in snow and ice

  • Take it slow and leave more distance between vehicles.
  • Allow extra travel time.
  • Avoid or delay driving during the worst part of the storm. If possible, only travel during daylight hours, don't travel alone, and stay on main roads instead of taking shortcuts.
  • Notify family or friends your travel plans, including your destination, route and estimated time of arrival.
  • Clean snow and ice off your vehicle before driving
  • Drive with your headlights on at all times to see and be seen.
  • Brake early and gently. It takes more time and distance to stop in adverse conditions.
  • Don't use cruise control. Sudden braking may cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
  • Give snowplow vehicles extra room and don’t pass on the right. 

Dressing warm

  • If you must go outside, use proper footwear, wear warm clothes and dress in layers.
  • When going outside, wear a scarf or cover your mouth to avoid getting cold air in your lungs.
  • Leave an extra pair of shoes and socks and blanket in your vehicle in case you get stuck traveling.
  • Monitor for signs of frostbite or hypothermia. If symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1.
    • Frostbite symptoms include loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes, and the tip of the nose.
    • Hypothermia symptoms include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion.

Heating your home

  • Keep 3 feet distance away from space heaters.
  • Do not leave space heaters continuously on – they are made to cycle on and off. 
  • If you’re not using it, unplug it.
  • Do not plug space heaters into an extension cord.
  • Never try to heat your home with a charcoal or gas grill, stove or other gas heater.

Protecting your pets

  • If it’s too cold for you outside, it’s too cold for your pets. Bring them indoors whenever possible and keep them warm and dry.
  • Provide plenty of food and water. Dehydration is especially dangerous in winter.
  • If you must go outside, keep them bundled up and limit time in the cold. Thoroughly clean their paws when bringing them back inside.

Prevent freezing pipes

  • To prevent water pipes from freezing, run a small follow of water from a faucet.
  • Keep windows and doors near exposed pipes tightly closed or sealed shut.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors and allow warmer air to circulate around plumbing.

Shoveling driveways & sidewalks

  • Shoveling snow requires significant exertion; please be cautious and pay attention to symptoms.
  • Stop if you feel chest pain, shortness of breath, lightheaded, nauseous/vomiting.