PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When winter weather strikes, the City of Pittsburgh’s Department of Public Works kicks into high gear.

Crews work long hours in difficult conditions. And there are some ways you can help, like moving your car and staying off the roads.

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In February 2010, Pittsburgh was crippled by feet of snow.

While most of us hope we won’t see anything like that this year, the Department of Public Works has to be prepared; because when bad weather strikes, the crews are responsible for 1,200 miles of streets.

At this point, all of the trucks, plows and other equipment have been checked out.

During a storm, the city dispatches up to about 70 vehicles.

“We’ve increased our supply of smaller, heavier equipment to do the haul and removal,” said Rob Kaczorowski, the director of Public Works. “We’ve purchased new heavy equipment, and we have new trucks that we have purchased over the last few years.”

The smaller equipment will be especially helpful on many of Pittsburgh’s narrow and steep secondary streets.

As far as salt supply, the city is solid.

“We replenish it as soon as we use it,” says Kaczorowski. “We track it; whatever we use for that storm we reorder, so we try to keep our stock piles pretty much 100 percent to capacity.”

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Snow events in the city are divided into four categories. Phase 4 means emergency, which means 10 or more inches of snow and ice are forecasted.

During a Phase 4 snow, stay off the roads.

In the case of an extreme emergency, only use the routes with these posted snow emergency signs.

Only operate vehicles that are winterized and have tires that can navigate through potentially dangerous conditions.

Also, make sure to follow all of the parking restrictions and limitations. And vehicles should be moved off of secondary streets and alleys.

During Phases 3 and 4, citations can be issued.

When it comes to when your street will be cleared after a storm, be patient.

Here are the set response times:
During a Phase 1 storm, crews will clear the roads within 12 to 24 hours once the storm has ended.

Phase 2, it could take 16 to 32 hours. Phase 3, up to 24 to 48. And after a Phase 4 storm, there is no definite timeline in place.

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City of Pittsburgh’s Department of Public Works
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