Back-to-back snow emergencies in St. Paul: How it works

The city of St. Paul will take the unusual step of planning two snow emergencies in a row, with no pause between them, in advance of a potentially historic snowstorm that could deliver sustained winds and up to 25 inches of snow.

Here’s how that’s expected to work, and a look at what municipal services will be closed or delayed due to the weather emergency.

First snow emergency

Wednesday night: The first of two snow emergencies will take effect at 9 p.m. Wednesday. Vehicles must be moved off designated “Night Plow” routes or they’ll be ticketed and towed. Night plow routes include all downtown streets and streets marked as such. Crews may not complete all night plow routes on the first night, but residents will still be allowed to move their cars back at 7 a.m. Thursday. The goal on the first night is to make as many arterial streets as possible passable for emergency crews, as opposed to a complete curb-to-curb plow operation.

Daytime Thursday: Day plow routes will be plowed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. These routes are not marked by signs. They’re east-west residential streets, as well as the one side of north-south residential streets not marked “Night Plow Route This Side of Street.”

Second snow emergency

Thursday night: Residents will again be expected to move cars off designated “Night Plow” routes, including all downtown streets. Ticketing and towing will again be in effect from 9 p.m. Thursday to 7 a.m. Friday.

Daytime Friday: Day plow routes will be plowed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Weekend clean-up

Saturday and Sunday: St. Paul Public Works will attempt to plow day plow routes that were not completed on Friday — avoid parking on these routes until they’ve been fully plowed. Vehicles may still be subject to ticketing and towing.

Online parking maps and snow emergency rules

Check the city’s online snow emergency parking map at for updated information on where to park. Visit for general information related to snow emergency rules and operations.

Free parking

Eight city-owned ramps in downtown St. Paul will offer free parking during the storm. Residents may park vehicles from 5 p.m. Wednesday until Saturday morning at no cost at the Smith ramp, Kellogg Underground ramp, Lawson ramp, Lowertown ramp, 7A ramp, Robert Street ramp, Block 19 ramp and World Trade Center ramp.

Garbage and recycling

Recycling and garbage collection will be suspended on Thursday and Friday. Do not put carts in the street. St. Paul Public Works officials said Tuesday they’re talking to the city’s trash haulers, but they have yet to determine if the delayed routes will be picked up this weekend. Visit and for updates.

St. Paul Public Schools

Wednesday and Thursday will be e-learning days for students. Friday will be a snow day. Most afterschool activities are canceled, and Friday’s varsity games and practices will be decided case-by-case. Visit for more information.

St. Paul Libraries

On Wednesday, the Arlington Hills, Rondo, Sun Ray and Highland Park libraries will be open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Rice Street and George Latimer Central libraries will operate from 12 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The city’s library system will be closed Thursday but likely reopen Friday. Visit for more information.

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