How much the big storm cost York, Lancaster and Harrisburg

Written by Ed Mahon, York Daily Record | Feb 12, 2016 12:15 PM
ydr snow 600x340.jpg

The imprint of a car license plate is left in the snow following the dig out of vehicles in York, Pa. on Sunday, Jan 24 , 2016. Photo by Jason Plotkin, York Daily Record.

Lancaster expected to spend $250,000 on snow removal this winter.

But the big January snowstorm that dropped more than two feet of snow on much of southcentral Pennsylvania led the city to spend about $550,000, according to Charlotte Katzenmoyer, director of public works for Lancaster. A majority of that money went to private contractors.

"We don't have enough trucks and we don't have enough loaders, particularly large loaders that can move that amount of snow," Katzenmoyer said.

More snow has fallen since that January storm, and winter's not over.

Katzenmoyer said Lancaster will use its general reserve fund to cover the difference.

In Harrisburg, the Jan. 22-23 storm cost at least $739,622, city spokeswoman Joyce Davis said in an email Wednesday. Some costs, including overtime, were still being compiled, she said. Harrisburg had expected to spend $180,000 on snow this winter.

Davis said that the city expects to receive some federal reimbursement, because the mayor declared a disaster emergency "opening the door to federal aid to cover expenses over the worst 48-hour period."

On Thursday, York Mayor Kim Bracey said in an email that city expected to spend $160,000 on snow removal this winter, but early numbers put the cost of the January storm at $385,000. To make up the difference, Bracey said the city "will make appropriate transfers from reserve accounts and request the allowable reimbursements from state agencies."

Here is a look at what Lancaster, Harrisburg and York had to deal with during the storm.


Lancaster: The city is responsible for about 110 miles of city streets and alleys, plus about 20 miles of Pennsylvania Department of Transportation streets, according to Katzenmoyer.

Harrisburg: The city had to plow about 90 miles of road, Davis said.

York: The city is responsible for plowing more than 140 miles of streets and alleys, Bracey said.

Cars towed

Lancaster: Katzenmoyer said about 45 vehicles were towed in Lancaster for parking along snow emergency routes.

Harrisburg: Davis said she did not have that information.

York: On Jan. 26, Mike Shanabrook, emergency planner for the city, said 32 vehicles were towed after the snow emergency went into effect.

Salt used

Lancaster: Used about 380 tons of salt to treat the roads, which is more than it uses during a typical snowstorm but not a lot more, Katzenmoyer said. Katzenmoyer said the city didn't use as much salt as you might expect because workers were focused on keeping up with the quickly falling snow.

Harrisburg: Didn't use salt during the storm, but did use some on Jan. 29 to prevent melted snow from re-freezing on the roads. Davis said the city didn't have an exact calculation but estimated about 20 tons were used.

York: Bracey said she didn't have that information.


Lancaster: On Feb. 5, Katzenmoyer said there had been 35 property violation notices for people not shoveling. Those violations come with a $25 fine, she said.

Harrisburg: Davis said no citations for not removing snow were issued as of Wednesday. She said the city has used "passive enforcement" of leaving door hangers and making phone calls. A few formal notices were issued, she said.

York: Bracey said the information was not available as of Thursday.

This article is part of a content-sharing partnership between York Daily Record and WITF. 

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