City Adopts New Snow Emergency Policy

In an effort to more efficiently alert residents when City crews need to plow and clear streets of snow, the Osseo City Council adopted a new comprehensive snow emergency policy, set to take action this coming winter. The new policy will help residents know when the City has declared a snow emergency event, and what steps they can take to ensure vehicles are out of the way for snow plowing.

Who determines if there will be a snow emergency?

A City of Osseo Public Services employee, who is currently on-duty or an on-duty Osseo Police Officer, will measure any current snow fall at the Osseo Public Works Facility parking lot when there appears to be an accumulation of 2 inches or more (located at 800 Broadway Street East). If 2 or more inches have fallen in a single “snow event”, then the Public Services employee or Police Officer will report to the Public Services Director or Police Chief who will declare an official snow emergency.

When can a snow emergency be declared?

Residents will be notified of a snow emergency declaration before 10:00 PM in order to be effective the same day, beginning at 12:00 midnight that evening.

How will residents be notified that a snow emergency has been declared?

Once the City declares a snow emergency to be in effect, residents can be notified through various means. These include:

A)     An official snow emergency declaration banner will appear on the City’s website. You can log on to to check for potential snow emergency declarations.

B)     Residents who opt into the email notification system will receive an email from the City alerting them to a snow emergency declaration. If you’d like to receive email alerts from the City of Osseo, please log on to the City’s website and in the middle of the home page is a section where you can type your email address. Please note: your email address will not be used for any purpose other than sharing important City alerts. Your email address will be secure and not sold to any third parties.

C)     The City will also post all snow emergencies on the City’s Facebook page and Twitter account. To get snow emergency notifications via Facebook, search “Discover Osseo” and like our page. You can also follow the City’s Twitter account (@CityofOsseo). The City will post snow emergency notifications and link to our website for further information.

D)     The City will alert local WCCO Television to include the Osseo snow emergency on their scrolling notification bar. You will also see the Osseo snow emergency declaration on the WCCO website, as well as radio updates (AM 830).

E)      A phone recording, declaring that the City of Osseo has declared a snow emergency, will be activated when residents call the City of Osseo Snow Emergency Hotline (763-425-SNOW). The recording will give callers further information on the snow emergency declaration.

How long does a typical Osseo snow emergency last and what are the parking restrictions?

When a snow emergency has been officially declared, residents are not allowed to park vehicles on the public street starting at 12:00 midnight to 6:00 AM the following morning. Residents will then be allowed to park vehicles on the street starting at 6:00 AM to 12:00 midnight. Residents will again not be allowed to park vehicles on the public street from 12:00 midnight to 6:00 AM the next morning. After that, the snow emergency will be over.


4:00 PM on Tuesday:                                                      The City declares a snow emergency.

Midnight 12:00 AM to 6:00 AM on Wednesday:        No parking on public streets.

6:00 AM Wednesday to 12:00 AM Thursday:            Parking allowed on public streets.

Midnight 12:00 AM to 6:00 AM on Thursday:           No parking on public streets.

6:00 AM on Thursday and on:                                       Snow emergency over.

Where can residents park vehicles during snow emergencies?

Residents should park vehicles on their private property during snow emergencies. If a resident is a renter and only has on-street parking available, the resident should coordinate with landlords to determine potential parking options. The City will coordinate with local businesses or property owners to provide temporary parking locations during snow emergency events. You can find more information on the City’s website.

Can snow plow crews prevent driveways and/or alley entrances from being blocked?

Since all snow must be cleared from the roadway in order to keep public roadways safe, snow plow crews have to push snow to the sides. It is very difficult to keep driveways and alley entrances from becoming blocked in on initial passes. Crews will make every effort possible to minimize this problem and may return to alley entrances when possible. Driveways may be blocked, however, when the City receives a large snowfall amount. Again, crews will make every effort to minimize these issues.


If you have any questions regarding the Osseo snow emergency system, please contact City Hall.



Riley Grams, City Planner, City of Osseo

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