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Posted on: November 21, 2017

City Reminds Residents of Winter Storm Operations Information

know snow

Despite the fact that there’s no snow on the ground yet, the City would like to remind residents of winter storm operations information as we head into December. The Department of Public Works is gearing up for the winter season, in which they care for more than 560 lane miles of road and more than 100 miles of sidewalks during and following snow storms.

During the winter months, the Public Works Dispatch office is open 24-hours a day, reachable at 207-874-8493, and crews are assigned to shifts to respond 24/7 to weather events. Major arterial roadways, hills and intersections are often treated before plowing operations begin, usually when 2” of snow falls. Plow teams concentrate first on major roadways and connectors to move traffic along before heading into residential areas.

This year, the City’s residential sand and salt pile will be located at the Little League parking lot at Payson Park. This sand and salt pile is for residential use only, contractors are not allowed. Residents can take two 5-gallon pails at a time.


The City reminds residents and business owners of the following during a snowstorm:


  • Residents and visitors can view alerts on the City’s website at or sign up to receive email and text message notices via the Notify Me feature when parking bans are declared. The City can call a city-wide parking ban, a peninsula ban which covers the entire peninsula, or a yellow zone ban, which covers the downtown district.

  • People can also get parking ban updates by following City news on Twitter or Facebook. Motorists can also call the parking ban hotline at 207-879-0300 or check the Time and Temperature building sign for postings. It should be noted that due to the age of the Time & Temp building’s sign, it is the least reliable source for this information.


  • For customer service related to winter operations, please call 207-874-8493. This number is operational during winter months 24/7. For sidewalk plowing concerns, please call 207-874-8793.


  • All vehicles left on the street during a snow parking ban will be towed at the owner’s expense. Only cash, VISA, MasterCard, or Discover Card accepted. Sorry, no checks will be accepted. The snow impoundment lot can be reached at 207-774-3025.

  • Residents able to park off-street should do so in order to allow crews to remove snow from the streets and emergency vehicles to travel as safely and efficiently as possible.

  • If parking your car on the street, please park as close to the snowbank/curb as possible. Often people park several feet away from the curb in order to allow passengers to move in and out of the car easily. Parking the car in this manner shortens the width of the street by several feet, making it difficult for Portland snowplows to clear the street safely and emergency vehicles to respond as quickly as possible to a fire or medical emergency. If the street is impassable for an emergency vehicle, the vehicle blocking the street will be towed.


  • Commercial property owners are required to remove snow from the sidewalk abutting their property within 12 hours after snow has ceased to fall.

  • All residential property owners are required to remove snow from the sidewalk abutting their property within 24 hours after the City has finished clearing snow from that storm.

  • Encourage citizens to help their neighbors who are physically unable (elderly and disabled) to clear their sidewalks. Elderly and disabled residents who need help with removing snow from sidewalks should contact the City’s Elder Services Department at 207-541-6620.

  • A minimum of four feet is required to be clear of snow and treated for ice on all public sidewalks and sidewalk access ramps. Snow cannot be pushed or dumped from driveways and parking lots onto public access sidewalks and access ramps.

  • To view a map of city sidewalks cleared by Public Works and Parks, Recreation & Facilities staff, see winter sidewalks.

  • Members of the community are encouraged to help the Portland Fire Department by keeping their neighborhood fire hydrants clear of snow and ice. Citizens are also encouraged to help Public Works by clearing catch basins and storm drains in front of their homes to help prevent water ponding on their streets and in their driveway openings.

  • Citizens can also consider becoming a volunteer for the Adopt-A-Stop program, which uses volunteers to ensure that bus stops are kept clear.

Additional winter operations tips and reminders can be found here.

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