Duluth educates about snow emergency protocol

The City of Duluth is mailing 41,000 snow emergency brochures this week in an effort to prepare the public.

“The intent is to alert people on the new snow emergencies, and all the information that you need to know is located in this brochure,” said Director of Public Works and Utilities Jim Benning. “It covers the timeline for when cars need to be moved, where to park during snow emergencies,and snow removal tips that are required by city code.”

If Duluth were to declare a snow emergency, the decision would be made by 4pm that day. Everyone would have five hours to move their cars off of the snow emergency routes.

“Starting at 9 o’clock, once a snow emergency is declared, parking crews will go through and ticket cars parked on snow emergency routes,” said Parking Services Manager Mark Bauer. “So it’s going to be very important that people are not parked on those routes.”

“That allows the plow operators to start moving snow at 2am, and they’ll be removing snow from 2am until 6pm the following day,” explained Benning.

The enforcement of snow emergency parking comes after the city installed 2,300 signs this spring and summer.

“We’re not looking forward to writing a lot of tickets,” said Bauer. “Tows can occur if you don’t move your car off those routes. So our goal is to tow as few cars as possible on the routes. We’re asking for the public’s cooperation in helping us get this done and get the streets cleared for everybody.”

For a snow emergency declaration, the city plans on sending out the alert to as many people as quickly as possible to make sure cars are moved. Methods will include brochures, social media, and most notably, the Northland Alert program.

For those who sign up, Northland Alert notifies subscribers via text, call, or email if there is a snow emergency, water main break, or any other alert that a resident chooses to be notified about. The website is duluthmn.gov/northlandalert