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Frequently Asked Questions - Snow Emergency
When are Snow Emergency's declared?
The City of Salem implements a snow emergency when it is predicted that we are to receive two inches or more of snow accumulation.  A parking ban automatically goes into effect when a snow emergency is declared.  

How will I receive notice of a snow emergency?
When a snow emergency goes into effect, it will appear on the homepage of and on Salem Access Televsion (SATV).  In addition, a CodeRed automated phone call will be made to all residents in Salem notifying them of the snow emergency.  If you would like to add an additional phone number to this list or be taken off the list, you may update your information here or call 978-619-5601 for assistance.  Emergency email updates are also sent out to all whom are subscribed to the City's email subscriber list.  You may subscribe to City News and Announcements by clicking here.  Flashing blue lights throughout the City will also indicate when a snow emergency is in effect.  They are located at the following intersections: Loring Ave. @ Vinnin Square; Loring Ave. @ Canal St.; Lafayette St. @ Loring Ave.; Lafayette St. @ Washington St.; Bridge St. @ Webb St.; Bridge St. @ Washington St.; Boston St. @ Bridge St.; North St. @ School St.; Congress St. @ Palmer St.; Tremont St. @ School St.; Highland Ave. @ Salem Hospital; Jefferson Ave. @ Dove Ave.; North St. @ Essex St.; North St. @ Oakland St.; and Canal St. @ Washington St (Mill Hill).  

If I do not have off-street parking, where can I park during a snow emergency?
When a snow emergency is called into effect, a parking ban is initiated and it is required that all vehicles be removed from City streets once the emergency is put into place.  For those who do not have off-street parking, alternative designated parking is available at the following locations: Museum Place Parking Garage* and the South Harbor Garage* (Please note: Regular garage rates will be applied until the Snow Emergency time goes into effect.  During a snow emergency, parking in the city garages is $5/24 hours, or any fraction thereof. Vehicles should be removed from the garage by the close of business the day the snow emergency concludes. Vehicles left in the garage after that time will begin to accrue charges at the regular hourly parking rate.); Blaney St. Parking lot (Salem Ferry Landing); Forest River Park; Gallows Hill-Lower; Mack Park; Broad St. Playground; Castle Hill Playground; Salem Willows Park; Bentley School lot; Carlton School lot; Witchcraft Heights School lot; Bates School lot; Saltonstall parking area on Salem Street, and the Collins Middle School lot on Jackson Street.  
(*A monthly pass does not guarantee you a parking space in the garage.)

Please note: The Church Street parking lot (pay by space lot) is not a snow emergency lot; the Universal Steel Lot on Bridge St. (pay and display lot) is not a snow emergency lot; and parking in Riley Plaza is by permit only.  Permit fee is $25 per month and can be obtained at the Parking Department Office.  Please call 978-745-8120 for more information.  All other downtown municipal lots are for snow emergency use.

Alternative parking is available at the Salem State University O'Keefe Center parking lot.  A permit is required and can be obtained at the University's Public Safety Office.  Please call 978-542-7341 for further details.  

Alternative parking is also available at the Shetland Properties Congress Street parking lot.  A permit is required and can be obtained at the Shetland Park Security Department.  Please call 978-740-4429 for further details.  

How will I know when the snow emergency is over?
Snow Emergency Cancellation Information can be obtained by checking, calling the Salem Police Department's Snow Emergency Information Line at 978-744-0171, ext. 166, calling the Salem Announcements and Information Line (SAIL) at 978-745-INFO (4636), tuning into SATV or contacting the Department of Public Services at 978-744-3302.

Who is responsible for shoveling the sidewalks?
Presently, there is an ordinance requiring property owners to remove snow from their bordering sidewalks within six hours after the snow ceases to fall in the daytime and before 12:00 noon if it ceases to fall in the nighttime.  Violators are subject to a $25 fine for 1st offense, $75 for 2nd offense and $100 for 3rd and subsequent offenses..  

Is there a fine for shoveling snow onto the street?
Yes.  Snowblowing, shoveling, or throwing snow back onto the street when clearing driveways or sidewalks is prohibited by City Ordinance and violators are subject to a $75 fine for 1st offense, $150 for 2nd offense and $200 for 3rd and subsequent offenses. .     

Is there assistance available for shoveling sidewalks?  
Yes,  the City has developed a Shoveling Assistance Program to assist our elderly and infirmed residents in locating youths in their neighborhoods who will shovel snow from their driveways and sidewalks.  Please call the Council on Aging at 978-744-0924 for more information.  

Is sand available?
Yes.  Winter sand is available for Salem residents only at the Department of Public Works Garage located at 5 Jefferson Avenue.  Please, the limit is (2) pails apiece.  

For emergency assistance, whom can I call?
For a snow-related service request during a snow emergency call 978-744-3302 for immediate assistance.  This is the FASTEST WAY to get a service request resolved.  For Police/Fire/Ambulance  Emergencies dial 911.  The non-emergency Police line is 978-744-0171.  The non-emergency Fire line is 978-744-1235.      

Salem City Hall 93 Washington Street, Salem, MA 01970
Phone: 978-745-9595
   City Hall Hours of Operation: Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday 8AM - 4PM Thursday 8AM - 7PM Friday 8AM - 12PM
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