St. Paul Snow Summit displays city's preparations for winter

A snow plow drives by in the early morning.
A St. Paul city plow clears snow along 11th Street, adjacent to Interstate 94, in downtown St. Paul early Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023. The winter of 2022-23 was the third-snowiest on record in the Twin Cities, creating challenges for city crews.
Andrew Krueger | MPR News

To prepare residents in St. Paul for the winter ahead, the city hosted its first ever Snow Summit on Saturday.

The open house with exhibits allowed people to explore how the city conducts snow operations.

blue truck with plow in front
A fleet of snow plows at St. Paul's Dale St. garage. The St. Paul Public Works Department said staff learned lessons from this past winter.
Aaliyah Demry | MPR News

Because the city of St. Paul does not plow alleyways, many neighbors work together to ensure alleys are plowed either by residents or contractors and appoint “alley captains“ to coordinate the efforts. The city is working with neighborhoods and alley captains to provide resources.

“You definitely want to ensure that you have a contractor in place before the snowstorm just in terms of having peace of mind to know that when the snow comes you're going to be ready and prepared or block is ready and prepared,” said Micheal Venski, an alley captain in St. Paul.

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When snowfall is coming down and plow drivers are coming through the neighborhood, it’s important to know what to do to make sure streets are safe.

Lisa Hiebert, a spokesperson for St. Paul Public Works shared some tips for what you can do to help snow operations workers.

“Our drivers are ready, our equipment is ready and we need residents to get ready so that means knowing what they need to do, whether that means keeping their sidewalks shoveled all winter long, that's signing up for our snow emergency alerts so that they know when the city declares a snow emergency, they need to move their cars,” Hiebert said.

kid in orange shirt
Greyson Comstock attended the snow summit at St. Paul's Dale Street garage with his dad. His dad lifted him up so he could see what is like inside of a machine that helps clears the snow.
Aaliyah Demry | MPR News

The event was also a day of fun for children as they got to explore the machinery used to clean and keep the streets safe during the winter.