‘Challenging’ winter for City of Corner Brook

Diane Crocker
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CORNER BROOK  “It was a challenging night for sure, crews were busy,” said Steve May late Tuesday afternoon as cleanup from a wind and rain storm continued in Corner Brook.

At the height of the night, freezing rain and cold temperatures combined to make the city’s roads very slippery.

“There was a little bit of a decision to be made about salt versus sand versus plowing,” said May, the city’s director of operational services. “But at a certain point the rain and then the temperatures got to the point that the roads softened up. The snow and ice softened up significantly and required plowing.”

May said the city put in a good effort on Monday in getting ready for the storm by pushing back snow from catch basins.

“However, when the heavy waters run down the street and push a bunch of slush and stuff towards some catch basins, they do cover over and plug.”

May said this is what happened in several areas of the city, that and water pooling in ditches or on streets that couldn’t get into the catch basins. But May said crews were dispatched to problem areas as fast as possible and, once some of the snow was moved, the water drained fairly quickly.

May said after clearing the main roads the focus was on clearing side roads. With nine plows moving about the city he figured that work would be completed by just after supper.

The plan after that is to continue with getting the snowblowers out clearing and widening side roads.

See ‘TEMPERATURES’ on page 2

“Of course as the temperatures fall we’ll be watching for slippery roads, slippery sidewalks and trying to get salt and sand out to address those situations.”

Meanwhile, Monday night’s storm was just the latest in a series of harsh weather to hit this region.

“It’s taxing everybody in a lot of ways,” May said. “Our equipment is starting to show signs of fatigue.” But he added that crews have been doing an “excellent” job, working extended hours and numerous days in a row, including coming in when called on days off.

“However, given that we’re really only at the beginning of our normal snowclearing season it’s gonna be a challenging winter in a lot of ways,” he said.

In terms of the city’s snowclearing budget, May said he hasn’t seen the final numbers for December yet and is hoping they come in under or on budget for snowclearing for 2013.

And with just seven days into 2014, he said it’s hard to look at it and say there may be a problem yet.

“The amount of effort and activity we’ve seen in this week is not abnormal for a January week. So, at this point, I don’t see any cause for alarm.”

May is also confident the city has enough salt and sand to last it the winter.

When asked if supplies were running low, May said “we’re not aware of a problem at this point. We certainly used a fair bit of sand through that cold snap we just came to the end of.  However, at this point we’re not hitting any alarm buttons by any means.”

Twitter: WS_DianeCrocker





Geographic location: Corner Brook

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Recent comments

  • Jeff
    January 08, 2014 - 11:09

    From what i saw through this winter so far, i think the city of Corner Brook is doing a good job with keeping most of the roads cleared. Now they could be better but with the hills and the amount of budget they got, they can only do so much wihout raising taxes.