October 23, 2020

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Mayor declares state of emergency

A city crew cleans up tree branches on Sunday after the snow storm in which 34 cm of snow fell. (John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press)</p>

A city crew cleans up tree branches on Sunday after the snow storm in which 34 cm of snow fell. (John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press)

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 13/10/2019 (376 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The City of Winnipeg has declared a state of local emergency to help crews clean up after the massive snow storm that downed thousands of trees and power lines.

The city will have the authority to gain access to private property in order to deal with public trees that have fallen onto private property, and private trees that have fallen onto public property. The city will be able to get the additional resources required to deal with the unprecedented weather event.

The cost of cleaning up has been significant, Mayor Brian Bowman said.

City officials are assessing the damage to infrastructure, including the tree canopy, he said.

The city has hired contractors to help deal with the damage to trees; the effort is focused on public safety, such as trees that are in contact with hydro lines and blocking roads.

"The city's emergency operations centre remains active and the priority continues to be ensuring public safety, however efforts are shifting to recovery," said Mayor Bowman. "Winnipeggers are resilient, and on this Thanksgiving weekend, I continue to ask you to be kind, exercise patience, and continue to check on your family, friends, and neighbours, to provide any assistance you can."

The city has reached out across the country for assistance to help clear all the downed trees. Even with help, it will be many months before public spaces are cleared of all damaged trees.

The mayor said he will introduce a motion at the Tuesday's executive policy committee meeting that calls on the city to apply to the province for disaster financial assistance to help offset city costs.

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