Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation Prepared for First Winter Storm of the Season

November 19, 2015

Crews at the Ready in Advance of Weekend Storm System

Contact:  Jennifer Martinez,  312-744-2878 /  

(November 19, 2015) Today, Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) Commissioner Charles L. Williams provided an overview of the department’s efforts to prepare for the 2015-16 winter storm season, including a storm system forecast to move across the Chicagoland area this weekend.

"The Department of Streets and Sanitation has been preparing for the upcoming winter season for several months by training drivers and supervisors, reviewing routes, preparing the snow removal fleet, and receiving shipments of road salt,” said DSS Commissioner Charles L. Williams. “We are ready for this snow season, and our snow removal team is ready to respond quickly and effectively to all winter weather scenarios.”

In accordance with the current forecast for a winter storm system anticipated to move into the area beginning Friday, November 20, DSS will deploy snow spreaders tomorrow evening to monitor and clear snow as needed throughout the city.

DSS anticipates crews will continue clearing snow through the afternoon hours of Saturday, November 21. DSS will ensure all streets are safe and passable for motorists, including the downtown area that will host the 2015 BMO Harris Magnificent Mile Lights Festival on Saturday evening.
DSS manages snow removal for more than 9,400 lane miles of roadway and maintains a fleet of more than 280 snow removal vehicles, including 20 new snow plows for this winter. DSS will begin the winter season with approximately 330,000 tons of salt stationed at 19 salt piles across the city.

During a typical snow event, DSS dispatches plows to focus on clearing arterial streets and vital locations, including police stations, fire stations and hospitals. Once the snow has stopped and the arterials are clear, plows would then be redirected to address any snow and ice on the residential streets across the city.

DSS monitors snow removal operations, road conditions and weather from the Snow Command Center through access to a network of citywide camera feeds, Doppler radar control, and atmospheric and road data sensors.

The City of Chicago works with AccuWeather, as well as the National Weather Service, to monitor the weather on an on-going basis, and prepare for extreme weather as early as possible. By constantly monitoring the weather, DSS continues to implement, coordinate and improve plans to adapt to changing conditions, and keep residents safe during the winter season.

Additionally, DSS reminds residents about the Overnight Parking Ban that begins December 1 through April 1, and impacts more than 100 miles of Chicago’s streets. Residents should reference permanently posted along the impacted streets. Violators will face a minimum $150 towing fee, a $60 ticket and a storage fee of $20 per day for the first five days.

To view the snow fleet in real time visit For additional updates on snow removal efforts follow the Department on Twitter @streetsandsan.


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Snow Clearing/Winter 2015-2016

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