Snow Alert and Removal Information

Frequently Asked Questions

A snow alert is declared if the City of Sioux Falls plans to plow all streets. At this time, parking restrictions go into effect across the city, and vehicles parked on all streets are subject to ticketing and towing by zone. To find your zone, go to our interactive map.
The City of Sioux Falls offers multiple ways for you to learn about snow alerts: texts, emails, and social media. To subscribe to text alerts, send a text with the word SNOW to 605-413-1990. To subscribe to email notifications, go here. Also, follow @siouxfallssnow on Twitter or the City of Sioux Falls on Facebook for updates. This webpage, siouxfalls.org/snow, and City of Sioux Falls’ cable TV channel CityLink also have the most up-to-date information about snow removal.
Emergency snow routes carry a majority of Sioux Falls traffic and are the first priority for snow removal. After 2 inches of snow has fallen (day or night, with or without a snow alert being declared), all vehicles parked on emergency snow routes are subject to ticketing and towing at the owner’s expense. Emergency snow routes are posted with signs.
During a snow alert, plows enter neighborhoods after the snow has stopped falling and emergency routes are clear. Snow alert communications will include the plowing schedule based on zone. Vehicles cannot be parked legally on the street until the street has been plowed.
Because of the pedestrian needs and restricted parking areas downtown, plowing the street often isn’t enough to provide pedestrians and drivers with safe sight lines. Downtown streets are plowed similarly to emergency snow routes, but then snow is picked up at the end of a snow alert. It’s at the time of snow pickup downtown when cars need to be removed from the streets. Snow pickup operations in Zone 1 (downtown) begin at 1 a.m., usually on the final night of the snow alert. Overnight is the best time to pick up snow downtown because there are fewer cars during that time. Vehicles parked on the street in Zone 1 are subject to ticketing and towing between the hours of 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. on the night of snow pickup. Watch snow alert communications for the specific night of snow pickup downtown.
Snow pickup operations in Zone 1 (downtown) begin at 1 a.m., usually on the final night of the snow alert. Vehicles parked on the street in Zone 1 are subject to ticketing and towing between the hours of 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. on the night of snow pickup. Do not park on the street during a snow alert. Instead, park in one of five public parking ramps. Your car will be covered, and you can park for FREE from 5 p.m. to 6 a.m. during the week and all day on Saturdays, Sundays, and City holidays. Just look for the blue and yellow Public Parking signs to find a ramp or use our interactive map.
  • Snow gates are used citywide during snow alerts, with the exception of emergency snow routes that are three lanes or wider.
  • Snow gates should reduce the amount of snow deposited in driveways, but do not eliminate the potential for snow in driveways.
  • Snow gates are NOT used to reduce snow near mailboxes, fire hydrants, or corners.
  • Motorgraders work in pairs. Only the second motorgrader that passes your driveway, or the one closest to the curb, will use the snow gate.
  • The use of snow gates may narrow roadways, especially as the winter continues, since the plows can no longer reach all the way to the curb.
  • The use of snow gates may be suspended during snow events in which the snow is greater or wetter than their use would be effective.

It is the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure mailboxes are accessible to mail carriers and to keep fire hydrants clear of snow and other obstructions for 3 feet in all directions.

Sidewalks must be cleared of ice and snow within 48 hours after it snows. Don’t forget about sidewalk curb ramps on corner lots and other curb cutouts. Residents are responsible for providing access from the street onto the sidewalk.

Sidewalks must be cleared of ice and snow within 48 hours after it snows. Don’t forget about sidewalk curb ramps on corner lots and other curb cutouts. Residents are responsible for providing access from the street onto the sidewalk.

For the latest in local winter weather information:

  • Dial 511 for weather and road conditions on all South Dakota, United States, and interstate highways. Calls are toll-free. Cellular access charges depend on cellular provider.
  • Call 330-4444 for the National Weather Service forecast.
  • Go to www.safetravelusa.com for road conditions.
  • A winter storm watch indicates that severe winter weather may affect your area. A winter storm warning indicates that severe winter weather conditions are occurring or imminent.
  • A blizzard warning means that large amounts of falling or blowing snow and sustained winds of at least 35 miles per hour are expected for several hours.
  • Wind chill is a calculation of how cold it feels outside when the effects of temperature and wind speed are combined. A strong wind combined with a temperature of just below freezing can have the same effect as a still air temperature about 35 degrees colder.

Snow Removal Operations

Guide to Snow Removal