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Municipalities fair well during post-storm clean up

Posted on November 17, 2020 by 40 Mile Commentator

By Justin Seward

A relentless snow storm blanketed much of southern Alberta on Nov. 8.
In many places there was around 30 centimeters of snow fall and a high winds caused higher drifts.
Local municipalities worked long hours for most of last week in effort to clean up the piles of snow.
“It was probably I would say a record amount of snow and drifting to clear up for them (Bow Island’s public works’ crew),” said Dave Matz, Town of Bow Island chief administrative officer.
“But it did proceed fairly well. Our public works department was out plowing the streets on Sunday. But they (the drifts) would just blow in again right away every time they tried to plow a street clear. Monday morning (Nov.9) they started at 3 a.m. and worked throughout most of the day and were able to get quite a few streets cleared by the end of Monday. Tuesday, they were out again and somebody was out again on Remembrance Day as well doing street clearing.”
Matz says the public works still had a ways to go as of Nov. 12 and if it warms up and starts to melt, that will help some.
“But they did get all the main roads clear and they were working on some residential roads, making sure they were at least drivable,” said Matz.
The Town’s main concern when the snow made its presence was hospital access.
“Centre Street was heavily drifted in and public works made that their priority to get that (cleared) around the hospital on Monday,” he said.
The clean up efforts just showed the dedication of the public work’s staff and their willingness to get up and show up for work at 3 a.m. and put in 12 hours of work, added Matz.
“Overall, I think they handled it very well,” he said.
Cleaning streets during regular work hours will be priority until another snow storm rolls around.
The County of Forty Mile dealt with wind shifts as snow plowing commenced.
“The hamlets were blown in because of the north wind and just (got) stuck in,” said Wes Hollingsworth, county municipal manager.
“The township roads were worse than the range roads. Of course wherever there is a yard, trees or something like that, that’s where you’d have some accumulations piled up.”
Crews were out snow clearing on Monday and Tuesday and graders were also out on Remembrance Day.
“They started early again this morning (Nov. 12), so they’re back at it and generally it takes about four days,” said Hollingsworth.
“But when the wind blows from different directions, then we start over. They’re handling it very well.”
The snow-clearing put a strain on crews because of the longer hours put in.
“When it’s a white out, it’s harder on the eyes,” said Hollingsworth.
“Is (gets) rough-so with the bouncing. And just the frustration part of going to do roads that you just did yesterday and having to go do them again today because the wind blows from a different direction. It’s something we’re used to- we just go round and round.”
Hollingsworth said, “I’ve (seen) worse, so if I was to rate that one-day blizzard on Sunday was probably rated at about a seven or an eight- 10 being the worst that I’ve seen in 30 plus years.”

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