City crews working to keep ahead of snowfall

City graders and a front end loader were busy clearing Fifth Avenue Wednesday morning. Bill Phillips photo
City graders and a front end loader were busy clearing Fifth Avenue Wednesday morning. Bill Phillips photo



It may not seem like it, but it’s all hands on deck for the city’s snow clearing crews.

Bear in mind, however, that with the sustained snowfall, crews will focus on keeping the main thoroughfares clean while the snow continues to fall.

“We’ve got all staff on board,” Blake McIntosh, the city’s manager of City Roads and Fleet told media last week.  Contractors will be contacted and we’ll have graders and trucks lined up.”

When the city receives 7.5 centimetres in a 24-hour period, it is classified as a Priority One and Priority Two ‘snow event’ and triggers the city to deploy full snow and ice control operations, including contracted equipment, to clear Priority One and Priority Two routes in the city within 48 hours of the end of the event. If the city receives 12 centimetres of snow within a 24-hour period it is classified as a Priority Three snow event, which means Priority Three routes including residential roads must be cleared within 72 hours of the completion of Priority One and Priority Two Routes.

“Priority Ones and Twos, which are the main thoroughfares, bus routes, the hospital district and downtown will be our main focus,” McIntosh said of where crews will focus. “Should the snow stop and we get another threshold event, we’d most likely go back and restart the Priority Ones and Priority Twos.”

The city has 12 graders to put into operation, plus the city’s eight plow trucks. Graders, if they’re opening side streets and windrows, have two loaders with them. The plow trucks will run 24 hours-a-day.