Civic crews ready for spring runoff

Tyler Clarke
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Although above average runoff is forecast to inflict the Prince Albert area this spring, city crews aren’t too concerned.


City Hall

“Based on the snow that we’ve received here I think we have less accumulation than we did last year,” public works operations manager Alain Trudel said.

“I don’t anticipate it to be any worse than last year … If anything, I would think it would be better, but I don’t have the information from the surrounding basins.”

Although Trudel doesn’t anticipate any significant problems with flooding within the city, he said that crews are taking the necessary precautions should his prediction prove false.

“We’ve started picking up snow in our troubled areas -- little areas like cul-de-sacs that are closed in, where spring run-off is usually a problem,” he said.

While snow removal for the balance of Prince Albert would prove cost prohibitive, plowing snow to the side of the road in these areas would result in flooding, he explained.

Snow removal is also done along some hill areas, he said, noting that some properties downhill are susceptible to basement flooding.

Storm drains are the next big area of attention when it comes to spring runoff preparation, Trudel said, adding that keeping storm drains will keep crews busy for weeks.

Crews do not plan on clearing storm drains yet, he said.

“If you’ve cleared all the snow off the catch basins and it re-freezes, then we get into quite a bit of problems after that, and we’re going back in to steam off those basins,” he said, noting that crews wait until the snow melt is in full swing before clearing storm drains.

Based on the snow that we’ve received here I think we have less accumulation than we did last year. Alain Trudel

They’re less likely to freeze over when they’re nestled under snow banks, he explained.

By undergoing their usual snow melt preparations, Trudel said that he’s confident city residents will fare well this spring -- however, there are always some problems.

“Once spring is here -- and it will come, we get it every year -- if people are experiencing some issues with spring runoff and it’s plugging … if it’s a true emergency, make sure you give us a call,” he said.

If it’s not a true emergency, wait on placing that call to city hall, he said, adding that the call might pull crews away from a more urgent situation.

“We will definitely be keeping our ear to the forecasters and the weather, and we’ll try and do our best to make sure everybody’s kept in a safe manner.”

Civic crews are almost done plowing snow in residential areas, Trudel said, but with snow forecast for the weekend he anticipates making another round through city streets, beginning as always with priority one streets.

Organizations: Prince Albert

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