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SPOKANE-- Spokane Mayor David Condon annouced Thursday evening that the City is upgrading its snow declaration to a Stage 2, which means the City will complete a full-City plow of all arterials and residential streets. Private contract graders will be called in to supplement City Street, Water, and Wastewater employees in the plowing effort.

The City is changing it approach for plowing overnight based on conditions. Crews will focus on plowing the arterials again and will begin plowing streets in the Central Business District, racking the snow to the center of the street in most cases.

This work creates berms down the center of the downtown streets. Motorists should not attempt to cross the berms. Citizens must move vehicles from on-street parking downtown between 2 and 6 a.m. Additionally, parked cars must be moved from arterials and bus routes by 6:30 p.m.

Work around the medical district likely will not occur tonight.

Street conditions required us to step up our snow removal efforts for a second time today and to adjust our plans, says Mayor Condon.

Plowing is expected to begin in the residential areas in the early morning hours. Crews will begin in the residential hill routes, those numbered 20 and above on the residential plow route map: www.spokanestreetdepartment.org/documents/snowroutemap.pdf. On the south, they will begin in route 21 and then move to routes 20 and 24. On the north, they will begin in route 22 and then move to route 23.

Citizens should park on the odd side of the street in all residential areas. The requirement begins at 12:30 a.m. Friday in the residential hill routes, and at 6 a.m. Friday in all other residential areas.

The City has had more than 30 pieces of equipment out all day, including plows, graders, and de-icers. Additional crews from other City departments are joining the effort this evening, with more anticipated in the early morning hours. The additional City crews will more than double the plowing effort. And private contractors will add even more to that total.

To check the progress of City plows, go to www.spokanestreetdepartment.org/snowplow.htm. Citizens also can call the City s recorded Snow Removal Hotline at 456-2666. Citizens can be notified of updated information by following the City on Twitter or by liking the City s official Facebook page.

When driving in these wintry conditions, the City is asking motorists to slow down, be patient, and drive according to the conditions. Don't follow plows closely, and please do not try to pass plow trucks; it is very dangerous.

Please assist your neighbors who may need help removing snow from their driveways and sidewalks. And don t blow or shovel snow into the street, but back into your yard. That will prevent more snow and ice from being pushed onto sidewalks and the end of driveways by City plows.

Restricting parking during snow removal efforts allows plow drivers to clear away more snow, widening the area available for vehicles and generally improving driveability. In the residential areas, parking on one side of the street also allows plow drivers to move away from the curb, reducing the amount of snow and ice that ends up on sidewalks and at the end of driveways.

Citizens can check the latest weather forecasts by going to the National Weather Service at www.weather.gov/spokane

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