By Alex Hassel,

Winter Storm Jonas is going down in the history books as one of the biggest snowstorms we’ve ever seen on the East Coast. The Weather Channel reports that the storm is the first on record to bring two feet of snow or more to both Baltimore and New York City. Washington, D.C. also got more than two feet of snow, which caused the federal government to shut down until conditions improved. This could be a difficult time if you need to reach a self storage facility in those areas, but interactive maps provided by the cities could be a lot of help.

via City of Baltimore

The Baltimore Sun reported Tuesday that many of the city’s main roads had been cleared Monday morning, but many residents still found that smaller streets hadn’t gotten any attention at all. The city’s transportation director said it could take days to clear the 3,600 miles of side streets. For the more than 600,000 people in the city wondering if they could survive a trip across town, the Baltimore Snow Center offers help with a snow map.

Although it doesn’t show what streets look like—or how dangerous they may be—it updates every couple of hours to show how many times plows have passed through an area. At 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, more than a third of the city’s secondary plow zones had one or fewer passes from a plow. However, by 10:30 a.m., plows made significant progress in half of that area.

Based on the maps, making a trip to your local self storage facility to retrieve tools like snow shovels could still be risky. With two feet of snow on the ground, it’s difficult to determine—without making the trip yourself—how effective two to four passes from a plow could be on a street.

CBS News reported Tuesday morning that Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser says there are still several days of cleanup ahead for that area. In a similar story to Baltimore, the D.C.’s director of emergency management says all major roads have been cleared. However, 48 hours after snow had stopped, some roads still hadn’t even seen a plow.

D.C.’s Snow Response Reporting System updates every thirty minutes with views from traffic cameras, the amount of snow removal requests, and a road-treatment review. On the map, snowflake icons show thousands of open snow removal requests. On another view, different colored pins show which areas have been plowed, salted, or both.

via District of Columbia

On Tuesday morning, there was still a lot of ground to cover. If someone wanted to visit their storage unit to pick up skis or a snowboard before a trip to Whitetail Resort, the map does a pretty good job showing what areas have had at least some treatment, but without having to experience the drive firsthand, the traffic cameras can show an accurate picture of what a driver could really be in for.

In the CBS report, it adds that while most of the Big Apple has recovered from the storm, the city still hasn’t reached people in Maspeth or Queens. Some residents are complaining about having to wait three days to dig their cars out of three feet of snow. However, with the resources of a city with the population of 8.5 million people, New York continues to clean up quickly.

The Plow NYC site shows not only the prioritization of city streets, but can also display how long it’s been since a plow traveled through a street. Roads are displayed in different colors, which can designate from an hour or less since a pass, from 12 to 24 hours. This doesn’t exactly show if your route will be clear or not, but you could make a guess as to how long it’s been since a plow has been through.

If a resident was thinking about heading to Lower Highland Park for sledding, but needed to stop at their storage unit first to pick up saucers and toboggans, the streets less-recently plowed are probably a good route to take.

Images taken from City of Baltimore, District of Columbia, and City of New York’s websites.

Alex Hassel is News Reporter for If you’d like to pitch Alex a self storage industry news story, email [email protected] or call 402-779-7328.

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  • ericbosloor

    It is important to store at least a few tools at home during the winter so as to shovel your way through the roads while looking for the physical route leading to storage. A few tools will not take up too much space as long as you know which are the necessary ones instead of holding onto an entire collection of them which definitely takes up much more space than needed.