Severe Weather Response
When ice, snow or other severe weather hits, Public Works is ready to respond
Be prepared, stay safe
Vancouver Public Works keeps a close eye on weather conditions and potential impacts to streets, signals, utilities and other Public Works services. There are a variety of ways to stay connected and learn more with helpful links and other resources.
When severe weather or emergencies arise, City of Vancouver Public Works crews respond with a strategic approach. Top priority streets are those that connect and serve public safety. (Please see the map and info below to view the street priorities for severe weather and emergencies.)
Snow and icy conditions can also impact garbage and recycling services. Be sure to sign up for garbage and recycling service alerts. It’s a great way to stay informed, especially during times of severe weather.
And don’t forget about water! Protect your home from bursting water pipes. Remember to disconnect hoses and insulate or wrap outside hose bibs and the water pipes in garages, basements, attics and along outside walls, before temperatures drop to freezing.
Learn more about Public Works’ priorities during severe weather, along with tips for how you can weather a storm, below.
During severe weather, Vancouver Public Works prioritizes efforts to deliver the biggest impact to major routes and overpasses that provide the backbone for public safety. Equipment and employees are fully utilized to maintain those priority routes in a passable condition for emergency vehicle use. Neighborhood residential streets are not deiced or plowed. View a map of the city’s priorities for snow plows and other severe weather conditions.
For urgent issues, such as traffic signal outages, downed trees blocking City streets, help turning off water when pipes have frozen, please call the Public Works Operations Center Dispatch directly at 360-487-8177. For calls outside of regular Operations office hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mon, Tues, Thurs & Fri; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wed.), simply follow the directions to connect with our after-hours service line. Check to determine if your address is within the City of Vancouver.
Please do NOT report urgent issues that need immediate attention through the MyVancouver app. Requests sent on the MyVancouver app and the Public Works’ online service request form are typically handled the next working day when submitted and received after regular office hours.
Traffic Signal Outages
During power outages and interruptions, Vancouver’s traffic signals will go dark. When power comes back on or flickers, the signals will restart as flashing red. When signals are dark or flashing red, treat these intersections as a four-way stop, and proceed with caution. To report signals out or flashing red, please call 360-487-8177.
Frozen Water Lines
The best way to prevent water pipes from freezing is to take steps before temperatures drop below freezing. Be sure to disconnect all garden hoses and shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. Protect outside faucets and hose bibs with insulation, and don’t forget to also insulate pipes near outer walls, in crawl spaces, basements, garages and/or attics.
Please remember that you are responsible for protecting and repairing water pipes on your property. Never try to thaw a frozen pipe with an open flame. Without water and suspect a problem is at the meter? Please call the City’s Operations Center at 360-487-8177 for help.
Garbage and Recycling Updates
Remember, snowy and icy conditions impact garbage and recycling collections, too. Should service be canceled due to severe weather conditions, customers who are missed will get a call from Waste Connections, providing they have a current phone number. (If your phone is listed on a Do Not Call Registry, you may not be able to receive the call alert.) For questions related to cancellations, schedules and accounts, contact Waste Connections by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-892-5370.
Customers who’ve also signed up for alerts/notices using Vancouver’s free RecycleRight app will also get a notice via their choice of contact. Go directly to getting the recycle right app or first learn how to sign up for alerts here: cityofvancouver.us/servicealerts.