Snow alert information for Rapid City
RAPID CITY, S.D. – Below is weather-related information for Rapid City residents. Click the links below to find out information on everything from text alerts to which streets city crews prioritize for snow removal.
Download the NewsCenter1 Weather app for severe weather alerts, detailed forecasts, and more.
City officials are reminding Rapid City residents to sign up for various alerts regarding weather, disasters and more through a partnership with the 211 Helpline Center.
When a Snow Removal Alert is declared, the downtown snow removal core area must be cleared so that the city can treat the area. Any vehicle or trailer parked in that area from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m. may be removed by the police department and the vehicle’s owner or operator assessed a fine of $25 and the charges for towing and storage of the vehicle. If the fine is not paid within 72 hours, the fine will be increased to $35.
The downtown snow removal core area is defined as both sides of the street on Ninth Street to the west, Fifth Street to the east, Omaha Street to the north and Kansas City Street to the south.
Subscribe for downtown snow alerts by texting ‘RCSnow’ to 85511.
In addition, 211 Public Impact Text Alerts will be used for ‘No Travel Advisory’ messages to the public. Text ‘AlertRC’ for Rapid City or ‘AlertPC’ for Pennington County to 85511.
Subscribers receive official notifications like:
*No travel advisories
*Major accidents with road closures/impacts/detours
*Extensive road closure as a result of infrastructure failure, such as a water line or gas line break
*Structure fire creating traffic hazards
*Wildfire with evacuations and/or closures
The public is also encouraged to sign up to receive ‘Public Warning Messages,’ which will provide critical information quickly in a variety of situations, including life-threatening severe weather warnings, evacuation notices, hazardous chemical leaks, civil disturbance activity and more. Sign up at www.pennco.org/pubwarnmsg.
Initial service of streets during a snow/ice incident will be applications of sand, salt, liquid de-icer or a combination of these products. To reduce the amount of material used, flat level streets are not treated unless a special situation should exist. Other accepted chemicals may be used for maximum effectiveness.
Streets will be treated in the following order of priority:
- All arterial and emergency routes along with those streets having steep grades or other hazardous geometry and major intersections. Examples include Fifth Street to Rapid City Regional Hospital, Omaha Street, Mount Rushmore Road, Fairmont Boulevard, Saint Patrick Street, Jackson Boulevard, Sheridan Lake Road, Canyon Lake Drive.
- Collector and sub-collector streets and school routes.
- Residential streets.
CITY PLOWING POLICY
Snow plowing incidents will be divided into three levels of service. The service level will be determined by the Director of Public Works or his designee.
- Level A Response (approximately 2-4 inches of snow depth): This level of service will include the plowing of all arterial streets, emergency routes, streets with steep grades and other hazardous geometry, collector streets and major intersections. May include downtown snow removal.
- Level B Response (approximately 4-6 inches of snow depth): Sub-collector streets and some high traffic residential streets will be plowed in addition to those streets covered in ‘Level A Response’. Included in this service will be downtown snow removal. Some work may be contracted with the private sector.
- Level C Response (greater than 6 inches of snow depth): All remaining Rapid City streets. Contractors will be hired so this service may be completed in the shortest period of time possible.
Driveway entrances will not be opened by city crews under routine plowing operations. City policy will be to remove snow from sidewalks on public bridges and from curbside sidewalks located on streets with four or more traffic lanes, on a predominantly residential street and on a school pedestrian route. This work will only be done after street plowing operations have been completed.
City crews plow streets from curb to curb to maintain surface drainage.
SNOW AND ICE REMOVAL (SIDEWALKS)
Per City Ordinance 12.12.090, it is the duty of the homeowner to keep the sidewalk(s) fronting or abutting a lot, parcel or plot of ground free from snow and ice at all times. When it is impossible to take the snow and ice from the walk by reason of it be being frozen to the sidewalk, the owner or occupant shall sprinkle or spread suitable material to prevent the walk from becoming slippery and dangerous to travel. Sidewalks that are not kept free from snow and ice are declared a nuisance, and upon the failure, neglect or refusal to comply, the owner or occupant may be held in violation. If the snow and ice is not removed within 24 hours, the city can have the area cleared of snow and ice with the costs assessed to the property.
People who experience difficulties shoveling or maintaining their sidewalks during the winter due to a disability, age, etc. are advised to make preparations before the winter season to line up assistance for such tasks.
Pennington County Emergency Management officials urge the public to carry a winter storm kit in their vehicle. The kit should contain: sleeping bags or blankets, matches and candles, winter clothing, food, first-aid kit, pocket knife, flashlight and radio with extra batteries for each, a bag of sand and shovel, tire chains and tools, windshield scraper, battery jumper cables, and two coffee cans. Small supplies can be kept in the coffee cans and when you are stranded, one can be used for personal sanitation needs and the other to burn the candles in for heat. When burning a candle, leave a down-wind window slightly open for air circulation and ventilation. Carbon monoxide poisoning can happen without the victim being aware of it until it’s too late.
- The City Streets Department has over 50 pieces of equipment related to snow removal. Combined with resources from the City’s Parks Department, City Landfill and Rapid City Regional Airports, there are over 100 pieces of equipment that can be utilized at various city properties during a particular snow event.
- The City is divided into 19 different snow routes.
- There are over 400 miles of streets in Rapid City. Most of the streets are multi-lane with two, three and four-lanes of traffic. Stretching out the lanes, the 400 miles expands considerably. During a particular snow event, city crews can be traveling a distance from Rapid City to California and back.
- No snow ‘event’ is the same. Each event brings its own unique weather characteristics. City officials begin preparing for each snow event days in advance.
- Crews keep equipment maintained well in advance of the winter season. Chemical compound is purchased months in advance.
Information from the City of Rapid City