The following is provided as an update from this morning. I like these updates from our General Manager of Public Works because they provide a great window into their work.
General Conditions – Update
Below average cold temperatures, wind gusts, and blowing snow prevail and will continue overnight. http://weather.gc.ca/warnings/report_e.html?on38
We have received approximately 8 cm of new snow over the last 24 hrs. Due to wind, drifting has exaggerated the depth of snow in many parts of the City. Public Works staff have gone out to all corners of the City and have taken measurements of snow on residential streets. Measurements have ranged from 8-13 cm on average with some areas experiencing heavy drifting in excess of 30cm. Snow is expected to taper off overnight and then start again Sunday evening. However, we are only expecting 3 cm of new snow Sunday and into Monday morning.
As a result, Public Works has called for a plowout of residential streets beginning this evening at 6 pm. This work is done by several contractors and will happen simultaneously across the entire City. However, Public Works would like to remind everyone that a full plowout can take anywhere from 12-18 hrs to complete. Concurrently, we have met the Council approved threshold for residential sidewalks to be plowed. That work is happening now and is ongoing. Once again, I remind you that that this work takes up to 5 days to complete after the snow stops. The removal of parked cars on residential streets will assist in this plowout operation, otherwise plows will be forced to leave a windrow around the parked vehicle which makes future travel and parking difficult.
Staff are also deployed in the Downtown core, City facility parking lots, trails and conducting manual shovelling of City owned facility stairs. City owned snow plows will continue to plow the main and secondary routes with a view to keeping them clear of drifting snow. There is no change in the previous update with regards to the use of salt or brine material.
It should be acknowledged that gusting winds, which will continue until Tuesday at least, will hamper our efforts. It is highly likely we will have to “re-do” some of the plowout work later. A decision on that plowout and other mitigating efforts will be made as the conditions dictate.
Further, the Volunteer Centre has been alerted of our plowout in order that they can activate the “Snow Angel” program to assist those that qualify with any windrow issue they may have at the end of their driveway.
Finally, working in conjunction with the Guelph Police Service and our own Communications staff, the message of driving carefully and in accordance with road conditions is helpful to all. Speeds should be reduced and be consistent with the prevalent road conditions. We do ask for everyone’s continued patience as we work through this latest weather event.