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Massive fleet clearing snow off streets

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Crews are clearing regional streets across the city this afternoon as southern Manitoba gets hit with another snow storm.

"We’re looking at a full-out operation here," Jim Berezowsky, manager of streets maintenance, told reporters this afternoon, adding that 300-350 snowclearing vehicles are on the street right now.

Berezowsky said a snow route parking ban will go into effect at midnight tonight, two hours earlier than under normal winter circumstances.

This latest snow storm comes as crews are still clearing remaining sidewalks in some residential neighbourhoods and hurriedly trying to remove snow banks from the downtown area.

Mayor Sam Katz promised that streets and sidewalks would be cleared more effectively in this snow storm, but Berezowsky said he’s instructed crews to follow the council-approved policy on how to attack the snow.

Berezowsky said the major difference with today’s snow storm and the two that hit the city between Christmas and New Year’s is it's much warmer now.

Berezowsky said the warmer temperatures will make it easier to scrape the regional streets bare to the pavement – unlike the frigid temperatures that followed the last two storms, which hardened ruts and made them a bane for motorists.

With this afternoon’s warmer temperatures, Berezowsky said it’s likely crews will be able to apply salt to streets later today in addition to the sand that’s being applied now.

Blowing snow over the next two days will complicate clearing efforts, he said, adding the objective remains to attack regional streets first and keep collector and residential streets passable.

"We’ll continue to monitor this on an hourly basis and make the informed decisions to support that."

Berezowsky said it’s taking longer to clear residential sidewalks because crews have been forced to used blowers to deal with the compacted snow, adding that takes much longer than using sidewalk plows.

 

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

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