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City declares snow emergency

City street officials have declared a Stage 1 Snow Emergency.

A declaration means drivers have six hours to remove their cars parked along arterials and Spokane Transit Authority bus routes. In downtown, parking is prohibited between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. during the emergency.

Until the emergency, Utilities Director Dave Mandyke said the city had a full shift of street department workers moving snow. The emergency allows the city to shift about 20 water and sewer employees to plowing duty.

Under the declaration, the city will have 48 snow removal vehicles on the streets, including nine graders, said city spokewoman Marlene Feist.

The declaration also means the city will begin plowing hilly residential streets. Feist said the city will start with routes 20, 22 and 23. (For a map of the city’s plow routes, click on the document link at the top of this story.)

Mandyke said the city likely will make a decision later today about whether to move to a Stage 2 Emergency — during which the city hires private contractors to help and plows all residential streets.