Keeping the streets clear: Workers discuss snow removal

Matt Gardner
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A heavy weekend snowfall left Prince Albert blanketed by a layer of white on Sunday morning.

Throughout the day, crews worked tirelessly to clear the streets in order to facilitate the safe passage of vehicles and pedestrians.

Among these workers was a four-man crew from Dmyterko Enterprises, who could be seen shortly before noon on Central Avenue clearing snow away from local businesses and public buildings.

While most of Prince Albert slept, labourer/supervisor Harvey Delisle had been up since the crack of dawn, beginning his work at approximately 5:30 a.m.

“It is a lot of work -- the snow is really heavy today,” Delisle noted.

“There’s more snow than we expected to shovel,” he added. “So it’s taking a little bit longer.”

In addition to the heavy snow, wind made the task of shovelling even more difficult. Delisle estimated that the day’s work would continue until 1 p.m. before starting again on Monday at 6 a.m.

Besides shovelling by hand, the Dmyterko workers also operated heavy machinery -- specifically, skid-steer loaders equipped to plow snow -- in order to facilitate the job.

Operator Dean Cherkowski made clear the extent of the work scheduled for Sunday.

“Just this circuit we did Safeway, Giant Tiger, the mall, Venice House, and then tonight we have to do the casino,” he noted. “I’ve got the lawyer’s offices downtown here, SaskTel, Red Cross and A&W. We’ve got the other A&W on the other side of town to do.”

Whenever it snows, we just go. Dean Cherkowski

“There’s lots,” he added. “We’ve got about 30, 40 businesses.”

Covering all that ground throughout the city is rendered easier through the division of work into day shifts and night shifts, with Cherkowski planning to start a night shift at 7 p.m. the same day.

In terms of priorities, the crews attempt to clean the main routes first, which can include sidewalks and drive-thrus.

Regardless of whether snow falls on a weekend or weekday, the work of clearing it remains largely the same.

“Whenever it snows, we just go,” Cherkowski said.

Along with snow removal, Dmyterko specializes in a range of services including sewer and water installations, trenching, demolition, excavating and site preparation.

As he worked to clear the sidewalk for pedestrians on Central Avenue, Delisle’s sentiments likely echoed those of many Prince Albert residents.

“Can’t wait ‘til spring,” he said with a chuckle.

Organizations: Prince Albert, Safeway, Giant Tiger Venice House Red Cross

Geographic location: Central Avenue

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