Snow Plowing Procedures/Snow Emergencies

The City of St. Francis Department of Public Works follows a specific procedure for snow removal in the City.  While we try to follow this procedure on every snow event, sometimes the weather conditions require us to alter the plan.  Also, plowing snow is different than salting for ice or sleet.  It our goal to have all streets and alleys clear of snow or ice within 24 hours of the event.  Sidewalks and bus stops are cleared within 24 hours of the end of the snow or ice event.  We adhere to the same standard as all property owners within the City for sidewalk clearing. 

The snow plowing procedure is as follows:  The Highway crews clear the main roads first by tandem plowing.  We utilize the tandem method because it clears the roadway in one pass rather than multiple passes and saves time.  The main roads are cleared first so that emergency vehicles can get through the City quickly if needed.  After the main streets are cleared, plows are then sent onto the side streets, cul-du-sacs and dead ends to be cleared of snow.  Lastly, the alleys are cleared.  Again, emergency vehicles utilized the main and side streets to respond to calls and that is why they are cleared before alleys. 

The City has a practice of plowing from curb to curb or edge of pavement to edge of pavement depending upon if your road has curbs or not.  That is why the next few days after a snow event, you see plows out clearing the streets again or clearing where cars had been parked during the snow event.  Sometimes the City declares a snow emergency.  This may occur when it is predicted to have snow accumulation of 3 inches or more.  The notice of the snow emergency is sent to TV and radio stations and will be posted on the City website.

In addition, on streets where parking is allowed, cars must follow the even/odd day parking rule and must be moved off the street entirely by 9am to facilitate the clearing of the streets. 

Please note that we do not jump all over the City to plow individual complaints.  It does not facilitate clearing the streets and alleys efficiently.  We have the Highway Superintendent or other available staff checks complaints to see if they are valid and warrant any correction by our crews.  Mistakes do happen and we correct them when we make them; however, most complaints do not require any corrective action by the City.


  • Brush Estimate:
    Brush or tree stumps can be picked up by the City for a fee. Call the Engineering Department  at (414) 481-2300 x4319 for more information.
  • Storm Damage:
    After a storm, large wind damaged branches will be picked up by the City at no cost. Call the Engineering Department during normal business hours for more information.
  • Water in Basement:
    if your sanitary sewer is backing up in your basement, this is an emergency.

To speak to someone for assistance call (414) 481-2300 x4319, Monday - Friday 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.  for assistance after hours or on weekends, call the Police Department at (414) 481-2232.

 Street Light Outages

To report a street light that is out, please call We Energies directly at (800) 662-4797 or go to the We Energies. Click on the tab at the top labeled “Safety”. The page will then show the different types of outages to report. Click on “Street light or area light not working”. The next page will give you a button to report the outage online or a phone number to call. If you choose to report online, click the button. The next page will ask you for an address or a pole number and has a picture of the different tags with the pole numbers for reporting.