The following information was posted by the City of Royal Oak on Jan. 6.
Please Be Patient…We take your safety very seriously. We are working at maximum capacity to remove snow from residential streets.
Royal Oak DPS crews are busy digging out from our third major snowstorm in three weeks and second in five days. This one dropped over 8 inches of snow on the city. According to WWJ news, this was the biggest snow storm to hit southeast Michigan since 1994. It’s the first time in three years that we needed to plow snow to the middle of the street for later pickup in the downtown.
As of noon today, Jan. 6, all of the major roads have been cleared and DPS crews have started plowing local streets. They started at the south end of the city this time and are working their way north. We alternate the starting locations north/south with each storm. It takes 24-36 hours of continuous plowing to clear all of the local streets. That’s with our DPS staff split into two crews, each working 12 hour shifts. We dedicate all available personnel to snow removal except those required to deal with other emergency repairs. So far, during this storm, we have had to repair two water main breaks.
If you live in the northern part of Royal Oak, you will probably not have your local street plowed until Tuesday.
We are not salting roads because it is too cold for salt. Road salt is ineffective when the temperature is below 22 degrees.
It is critical that vehicles be removed from the streets until they are cleared of snow. When a snow plow encounters a vehicle, the driver has to swerve around it. This results in a strip of pavement several times the length of the vehicle that doesn’t get plowed. We don’t come back to do these locations later. That snow remains until it melts or until the next snow storm and we plow again. This is a major inconvenience for everyone in the neighborhood and everyone else using the street that can last for weeks. It is a major problem. That’s why Royal Oak has a snow emergency ordinance and why the police work very hard to enforce it. During the first two snow emergencies this year, the police issued over 2,000 tickets.
A snow emergency will be declared whenever we anticipate four inches of snow or more. Snow emergencies are announced on the city web site, email list, WROK cable station and some local news outlets. However, anytime it’s snowing enough that you need to clear your driveway, it’s probably snowing enough that we will need to plow the streets and you need to get your vehicles off the street. If a snow emergency has been declared and your vehicle is not removed from the street, you will be subject to a $50 fine.