Crews from the City of Weyburn had shifted their mindset from winter maintenance to spring cleaning, but thanks to a Colorado low moving into southeast Saskatchewan, they are going back to the winter mindset.
Jennifer Wilkinson is the director of engineering with the City of Weyburn. She explained that preparations are already underway for the coming storm.
“We were moving into spring work,” Wilkinson said. “We will now be going back and putting different blades onto our graders. We do discussions with our staff to ensure that they are aware that we might have to call out additional staff and adjust times of work.”
The snow removal policy for the City of Weyburn calls for the priority routes to be cleared first. The goal is for those to be taken care of within eight hours of the snowfall ending. After the priority routes are cleared, work then begins on secondary streets, then the remaining residential streets. The streets in downtown Weyburn are usually cleared on the first full night after the snowfall.
Given that the amount of snow being forecast by Environment and Climate Change Canada is between 30-50 centimetres, plus winds of up to 90 kilometres an hour will be blowing that snow around, city crews may be hard-pressed to get all the work done in the ideal timelines. There is a contingency plan for that, though – contractors that the city can call upon if needed.
"We would call them in to help us open up those primary roads first, then move into secondary,” Wilkinson explained. “So that’s kind of always something that we an option for, and something that we budget for, is to have contractors to be hired for snow removal.”
When it comes to budgeting for snow removal, the City of Weyburn isn’t worried about going over budget. The budgeting for snow removal is done on a five-year average. This helps given that there is more snow in some years, compared to others.
“We do have that room in there because we see snow every year, and some years we don’t see a lot of it and other years we see a lot more of it,” Wilkinson added.