City of Spokane leaders declared a Stage 2 snow emergency early Thursday evening as snow piled up and drivers suffered through a slippery and slow commute home.
The declaration means the city will begin plowing all residential streets. It also means that private operators of about 10 graders are being called to duty, interim utilities director Gerry Gemmill said.
As a result of the Stage 1 snow emergency declared about 12:30 p.m. Thursday, cars on arterial and bus routes were required to have been moved by 6:30 tonight. Cars parked on residential hill routes must be moved to the odd side of the street by 12:30 a.m. Friday. As a result of the Stage 2 declaration, all cars parked on all residential streets must by moved to the side of the street with odd-numbered addresses by 6 a.m. Friday.
The city was using about 30 snow-clearing vehicles on Thursday. About 20 additional crews from the wastewater and water departments will go on duty tonight and early Friday morning. With the contractors on duty as well, there will about 60 vehicles working to move the snow.
“We’ll be fully loaded, and we will be ready to plow out the city,” Gemmill said.
City officials said they delayed the decision to call a Stage 2 emergency because of forecasts showing warming temperatures in the coming days.
Gemmill said with so much snow falling, they opted to start residential plowing and may call it off later, depending on the weather.