Snow Plowing and Road Treatments FAQs

Each year, the Town of Chapel Hill prepares for potential snowstorms.  The Public Works Department has the major responsibility for snow removal on Town streets, from around public buildings, and from Town parking lots.  The Town is responsible for snow removal along approximately 750 streets totaling about 350 lane miles.

Expand/Contract Questions and Answers

  • How are streets pre-treated before a winter storm?

  • How can residents stay informed during/after a winter storm?

  • How much snow does Chapel Hill get each year?

  • How should residents prepare for a winter storm?

  • Other Questions?

  • What are some of the common challenges we encounter with snow/ ice removal?

  • What do I do in an emergency?

  • What is the priority order for clearing snow/ice from Chapel Hill streets?

  • What is the process for clearing snow/ ice from school properties and bus routes? Where can I find information about school closures?

  • When are salt and sand used on streets?

  • When will my street be plowed?

  • When will snow/ice removal begin?

  • Who is responsible for clearing driveway aprons?

  • Who is responsible for clearing sidewalks after a winter weather event?

Photos from Winter Storm Remus (February, 2015)

Information Materials

Stay Informed in An Emergency
During an inclement weather event, information will be updated on the Town's website at To sign up for emailed news notices from the Town of Chapel Hill, send an email to or visit For more safety information, visit, and download the ReadyNC app on your iPhone or Android smartphone. On Twitter follow @OCNCEmergency@ChapelHillGov, @ChapelHillFD and @ChapelHillPD.

Have you signed up for OC Alerts?

Getting Ready for the Storm and How You Can Help

• Listen to the weather forecast and buy food supplies prior to the anticipated snowfall.

• When snow begins to fall, park your car in your driveway off of the street.  This not only protects your car from snow removal chemicals, but also expedites the snow removal process.

• During inclement weather, please stay home if possible.  Every car at home will mean fewer potential accidents requiring public safety officials to respond or stranded vehicles left in the way of snow removal equipment. 

• If you must drive, equip your car with snow tires or chains.  This will reduce the risk of having an accident, which not only could result in injury to you or another, but ties up traffic and hinders snow removal.  

• Be a good neighbor and check in on one another.

• We appreciate assistance from residents able to clear snow from sidewalks and driveway entrances in front of your home or business.  Thank you!

Emergency Issues
To report emergency issues, call 911. These issues may be rising waters, fallen trees or other public safety needs.

Town Response to Winter Storm Jonas (January 2016)

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