Winter Weather Preparedness

Winter Weather Tips

Winter storms can range from a moderate snow over a few hours to a blizzard with blinding, wind-driven snow that lasts for several days. Many winter storms are accompanied by dangerously low temperatures and sometimes by strong winds, icing, sleet and freezing rain.

Regardless of the severity of a winter storm, you should be prepared in order to remain safe during these events, and know what to expect once its over.


Is Public Works responsible for clearing all roads in town during a snow storm?

No. East Hartford has many private and state owned roads within its borders. State-owned roads such as Burnside Ave, Main Street, and Silver Lane are plowed by the CT DOT. Private roads are not maintained or plowed by the Town.

What will be done about snow removal?

The Town’s first priority during a snow storm is providing emergency access. A single pass is made down the center of the road so that an ambulance or fire truck may pass. After all 150 miles of road in town are cleared, additional plow passes will be made to clear every road from curb to curb.

 Why hasn’t my street been plowed yet?

This generally becomes an issue when snowstorms occur during the day. At night the majority of people don't know when their street was plowed. Main streets and areas around schools (when they are in session) are plowed first and then the residential streets. The reasons are:

  • The main streets carry the most traffic volume
  • Emergency access to all areas is best achieved by working from primary roads into neighborhoods

It can take up to 8 hours to completely clear a snow plow route once a storm has ended, as East Hartford has approximately 150 miles of roadway.  All roads will be cleared before crews are released at the end of a storm.

What happens when a property owner fails to clear the sidewalk?

The Zoning Officer is notified and will issue a ticket for the Town Ordinance violation. Each day the violation continues is a separate offense.  If there is a property that you would like to report please contact the Inspections and Building Department.

All residents who own property in East Hartford that is adjacent to a sidewalk are responsible for clearing those sidewalks of snow, ice, sleet or debris within 8 hours after sunrise during snowfall or inclement weather. Many of our neighborhood schools have children that walk to and from school daily, in addition to students who walk to bus stops, and residents who access public transportation.  It is imperative that we keep the sidewalks clear so that our residents and students are not forced to walk in the street.


Why is snow plowed from the road onto my sidewalk and in my driveway?
This is not done intentionally. Snow cast onto sidewalks and into driveways is an unfortunate byproduct of a very necessary service we provide. When we plow a street we are simply moving the snow that is in the street off to the side of the street. The greater the amount of snow, the more snow that is deposited on the side. A normal cast from the plow is up to eight feet. Sidewalks and driveways are necessarily located in the cast zone. Residents should expect that this will occur and adjust their snow clearing efforts accordingly by either waiting for the storm to end or by making multiple snow-clearing passes.

Will the Town remove snow cast into my already cleared driveway?

No. Please wait until the plows have made their final pass before clearing driveways. If a driveway apron is cleared before the plows have completely finished clearing the street, this leaves an empty pocket that gets filled with all of the snow that’s on the plow blade. Although this may be a frustrating part of winter weather clean-up it is unavoidable. It is less work to wait until the plowing is finished before clearing driveways.

For additional detailed information on what to expect during winter clean up please see our Department of Public Works's frequently asked questions.

With the help of our residents we can make sure that our roads and sidewalks are safe for travel throughout the season.


  • Please use common sense while shoveling in terms of physical exertion and be safety-conscious while operating a snow blower.  
  • Dress in layers- use many thin, warm layers rather than a few thick layers. It will insulate better and allow you to strip off layers if the temperature climbs.
  • Prevent and Recognize Hypothermia- hypothermia is a core body temperature level of 95 degrees F or less; the body loses heat faster than it can generate.  Elderly people are particularly susceptible.  SYMPTOMS:  Victims may not feel cold or shiver. Skin is pale skin and hand tremors may be present. Thick, slow speech and unsteadiness are other signs to watch for. At highest risk are seniors who live alone, are undernourished and who use certain medications or alcohol. Call 911 if you notice the foregoing signs. PREVENTION: Maintain caloric and especially fluid intake and move about moderately to sustain body heat.
  • If you are using a generator, place it at least 20 feet from your home and away from neighbors' homes, windows, doors and vents. 
  • Never operate a generator indoors or inside of a garage, basement, or on a porch. DO NOT use charcoal or gas grills, gas lanterns or camping stoves indoors.
  • Know the symptoms of CO poisoning:  headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, sleepiness and confusion.  If you suspect CO poisoning, get outside immediately and then call 911. 
  • Check regularly on infants and children, the elderly or physically ill as they are at greater risk for hypothermia.
  • For those who do not have adequate heating, you may choose to go to one of our warming centers 
    • South End Senior Center, 70 Canterbury Lane 8:30AM-4:30PM Mon-Fri                                        
    • Public Safety Complex, 31 School Street, 24/7 Main Lobby
      *Note: No special staff or services will be offered at any of these warming locations.