Severe Weather - Public Works Response

Public Works responds to severe weather impacting streets and other rights of way
News & Updates:

2 p.m., Friday, April 7, 2017

Please note: High wind gusts since this morning have brought down trees and branches in various sites throughout the region. In Vancouver, Operations Street crews have been responding to calls of trees and large limbs blocking streets and/or impeding traffic. Winds have also caused damage to a few street lights in Vancouver.

While traveling throughout the community, please be alert to crews working in the roadway.

If you see a tree down in a City of Vancouver street or a traffic signal that is damaged or not functioning, please call 360-487-8177 to report it. To be sure it's in the city, you can easily check online at Remember: If there's a power line down, stay back and call Clark Public Utilities at 360-992-8000. 

Reports received: The following is a list of locations where citizens have reported trees or branches down in the street or right of way. This includes locations both active and resolved service requests, where crews have already removed trees/debris as of the time of this posting. (Please note the list reflects calls received by the Operations Dispatch/Customer Service, not confirmed sites.) 


  • 12813 NE 42nd Street
  • 12503 SE Mill Plain
  • Andresen & Van Mall Drive
  • Evergreen Highway & Bella Vista Place  
  • 200 Block of NE 112th Avenue
  • SE Bella Vista Road & Cascade Park Drive
  • NE 112th Ave & 9th Street
  • SE Fifth Street and 126th Avenue
  • NE 121st Avenue & 56th Street
  • SE 188TH Avenue & SE 13th Street
  • SE 10th & I-205 Overpass
  • Hidden Brook & SE 34th Street
  • Marshall Park along Fort Vancouver Way
  • 3501 P Street
  • Fourth Plain and Thurston, east of intersection
  • 14805 SE Fifth Street
  • E Mill Plain & Reserve
  • 10205 NE 9th Street


Please note: Severe weather updates are posted only as needed to respond to conditions.


Vancouver Public Works keeps a close eye on weather conditions and impacts to streets and utilities. News and updates will be posted at the top of this page when severe weather arises. Updates are also posted on Facebook at and on Twitter @VanPubWorksUS.

Learn more about Public Works' priorities during severe weather, along with tips for how you can weather a storm, below.

Street Priorities:

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. Neighborhood residential streets are not deiced or plowed. See information below describing street priorities for emergency and severe weather conditions.

Reporting Problems:

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. Not sure if the address is within the City of Vancouver? Check the City's website:

For downed power lines, keep back and report to Clark Public Utilities at 360-992-8000 or 360-992-3000.

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.

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 of Washington, providing they have a current phone number. For questions related to cancellations, schedules and accounts, contact Waste Connections by email at or call 360-892-5370.

Customers who've also signed up for alerts using Vancouver's free RecycleRight app will also get a notice via their app choice of contact. Get the app here:


Severe Weather: Are you prepared?

The City of Vancouver's Department of Public Works encourages businesses and residents to plan ahead and be alert to avoid many problems associated with severe weather. The handy information below can provide you with the facts and tips you may need should severe weather strike.

Top Priorities for Vancouver's Streets:

There are more than 1,800 lane miles of streets in the City of Vancouver. When severe weather hits hard, Vancouver Public Works prioritizes its response to provide the strongest level of support for our community's life-saving public safety network.

Highest Priority
  • First on the priority list is the critical network of arterials that connect police, fire and emergency medical services. ;Public Works crews also work closely with Vancouver Fire and Vancouver Police to clear the way to specific sites where emergency access is needed. During major snow and ice storms, just keeping the top priority critical streets open and passable is a process that has to be repeated over and over again, around the clock.
Other Priorities
  • After critical public safety network of arterials come the remaining arterials, selected collectors, snow bus routes and key streets around schools and hills.
  • As weather conditions, resources and time allow, next come the collectors and public parking lots.
Residential Neighborhood Streets - What You Should Know

During severe weather, the effort to support public safety is a constant job, night and day. That is especially true during long bouts of snow and ice. Residential streets do not get plowed due to these demands and the city’s limited resources, as well as the difficulties presented by numerous driveways and cars parked along residential curbs.

Residents are encouraged to be prepared in advance for the possibility of severe weather. Be sure you have the traction devices, snow shovels and other severe winter weather necessities you may need while supplies are readily available. During and immediately after severe winter storms, please avoid driving if at all possible. When travel is necessary, leave additional time to reach your destination safely.

Fortunately, major snowstorms of significant duration are not a common occurrence in Vancouver. Winters here are generally rainy and mostly temperate, compared with other regions. When it does snow in Vancouver, it rarely stays for long.

Preventing and Handling Frozen Water Pipes

The best way to prevent water pipes from freezing is to take steps before temperatures plummet. Before freezing temperatures arrive:

  • Disconnect all garden hoses and shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets.
  • Drain in-ground irrigation systems according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Protect outside faucets and hose bibs with insulation. Wrapping them with newspaper or rags covered with plastic is a good resort if you don't have molded foam-insulating covers, designed specifically for that task and frequently found in hardware sections and stores.
  • Seal leaks around pipes that allow cold air to seep inside.
  • Insulate pipes near outer walls, in crawl spaces, basements, garages and/or attics to guard against freezing.
  • Locate your home’s water shut-off valve and make sure it works, before it's ever needed in an emergency.
During freezing conditions:
  • Allow a trickle of water to drip at night from an indoor faucet, preferably one located along an exterior wall and/or farthest from where your water service connects with the main water line.
  • Open cupboard doors under sinks in kitchens and bathrooms to allow more heat to reach water pipes.
  • Vacationing? Have someone check your house to make sure the heat is still on and water is working properly. Or drain and shut off the water system, with the exception of indoor sprinkler systems.
If your water pipes freeze:
  • Please remember that you are responsible for protecting and repairing water pipes on your property should any breaks occur.
  • If you turn on your faucets and nothing comes out, leave the faucets turned on and call a plumber.
  • 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 further assistance.