Snow Emergencies

Snow Emergencies are handled by the Highway Division of the Public Works Department. During a snow emergency every able-bodied Public Works employee is required to work from the beginning of the storm to the end - until the roads in Salem are safe for travel. During off-hours it takes approximately two hours to treat all major roads with chemicals and less time during regular work hours. During a snow storm it is important that residents understand the main roads are plowed, salted and sanded first; then the secondary roads, and lastly the cul-de-sacs and back roads.

Public Works employees are dedicated individuals who get the roads open during storms and emergencies so ambulances, fire trucks and police vehicles can do their job. They spend many long hours, weekends and holidays away from their families in order to keep the roads safe for everyone. We are fortunate to have such a great team! If you have any problems or would just like to share a success story, please let us know.

Did you know...

  • During any emergency it is the LAW to yield to the flashing yellow lights of a plow truck, just as it is to yield to police and fire vehicles.
  • Winter Parking ban is in effect from November 15th to April 15th, during which time no operator shall leave an unattended vehicle on any street, except in the case of an emergency, between the hours of 12 Midnight and 6 am or at any time during a declared snow emergency. Any vehicle found parking in violation will be moved at the expense of the operator or owner, and by or under the director of a police officer of the Town of Salem. No vehicle shall be left unattended on any street when new snowfall has accumulated to a depth of 3 inches, except in case of an emergency. Any vehicle found in violation will be moved at the expense of the operator.
  • No person shall shovel, plow or any way move or cause snow to be moved from private property to a street or sidewalk - per Town Ordinance 466-10 and subject to a maximum fine of $100.

You Can Help!

During a winter snow emergency you can make a difference, by following these simple guidelines:

  1. Make sure your vehicle is ready for winter driving conditions.
  2. Allow additional driving time to arrive at your destination.
  3. Do not drive during storms unless it is absolutely necessary.
  4. When a storm is approaching, remove vehicles from the side of the road so that drivers can perform services effectively. Having a parked car on the side of the road impedes the operation thus making removal difficult and inefficient.
  5. Be patient. It takes time to clear approximately 210 miles of roadway.
  6. During a storm it is important for the DPW to keep the telephone lines clear for emergency communications. General information questions and calls are welcome at any other time.
  7. Remove any and all potentially harmful objects from the right-of-way (edge of pavement) i.e. basketball hoops, rocks, skateboard ramps, unregistered vehicles, etc.
  8. Do not throw snow back into the street during or after our plowing event.
  9. Don't push snow across the street from your driveway. It is dangerous and against Town ordinances.
  10. Do not pile snow on sidewalks. It makes it very hard on the removal equipment and jeopardizes children walking to school safely! Please use extreme care when walking on uncleared sidewalks - DO NOT WALK IN THE STREET.