Chelan County Public Works is emphasizing Snowplow Awareness Week and snow removal policies as winter weather begins to intensify. 

County spokesperson Jill FitzSimmons says residents should be familiar with snow removal policies, which are posted on the county website. 

"They talk about things like snow wrinkles and snow damage, stranded vehicles, keeping that fire hydrant in your neighborhood clear, and don't shovel snow into the roadway," said FitzSimmons. 

Shoveling snow into the road violates the County Code, which carries a fine, and can be a hazard for motorists and snowplow drivers. 

Snow wrinkles are the buildup of snow pushed aside by the snowplow that will block private driveways. 

 It is County policy not to clear or unblock private driveways, and residents should be prepared to clear the wrinkle between their driveways and a county road. 

As far as snowplow awareness, FitzSimmons says one of their biggest concerns is drivers passing snowplows. 

"They will pull over to the side to allow motorists to go past when it's safe to do that," FitzSimmons. "But it's really a safety issue, and we ask that you do not pass a county snowplow." 

The county manages roads in unincorporated areas of Chelan County, which includes the communities of Peshastin, Manson and Malaga. 

There's a detailed map of snowplow routes on the county website, including most of the valley north of Wenatchee outside the cities of Cashmere and Leavenworth.  

It includes well-traveled county roads such as Chumstick Highway north of Leavenworth as well as Entiat River Road, areas around Lake Chelan not including the city of Chelan and most of the roads south of Wenatchee including Squilchuck Road and Mission Ridge Road. 

School bus routes and major arterials are top priorities during and after a snow event. Local access roads are plowed only after these roads. 

Residents are encouraged to know what type of county road they live on, as the roads are divided into priority 1,2 or 3 for importance. 

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Gallery Credit: Rik Mikals

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