The latest topic here in Edmonton that results in heated, animated conversation is the weather! I know, the weather is a common ice-breaker, pun intended, for many, but it seems to be the topic of choice throughout the city. From my sister with her email, "how about this snow?" to the neighbours cussing as they shovel their vehicle out, yet again; to the snowplow operators, to the city counsel; it's at the top of everyone's list.
On average the city removes about 800,000 cubic metres of snow from the main roadways. This winter, crews have already hauled more than 1,000,000 cubic metres of snow from city streets. Nearly half of that has been in January alone! And winter isn't even half over yet!
According to Bob Dunford, director of roadway maintenance, between January 8 and 18 city crews removed 400,000 cubic metres of snow from city streets to be stored at one of the city's storage facilities. Here the meltwater ponds with liners protect against run-off into the water supply and soil. Important to us because of all the chemicals strewn on roadways to make them safe and navigable will not be allowed to enter our drinking water. When the snow melts in the spring, the sand is collected and cleaned to allow for reuse the following winter. I like that. Recycling the sand.
Bob Dunford estimates that by the end of the winter, the city crews will have removed over 2.4 million cubic metres of snow. The most since 1984.
Environment Canada cites that Edmonton has received an estimated 60.5 cm of snow during the month of January.
Residential grading has begun. Our area was tackled yesterday morning, during freezing rain, making the streets excessively slick. Sirens from emergency vehicles were commonly heard throughout the day as drivers fell mercy to the weather and poor road conditions. If only the streets could be sanded again as we are having a warm spell, which necessitated the grading in the first place, and the snow melt and freeze overnight is treacherous.
Oh, and snow is forecasted again, beginning tomorrow....
For more information about city snow removal see edmonton.ca/environmental.