January 08, 2015 - 1:04 PM
KAMLOOPS - The next challenge the city could face following this week's snow storm is coping with rapid melting as temperatures rise.
It has been more than 87 years since Kamloops has seen two-day snowfall amounts nearing the 40 centimetre mark and the storm had city crews scrambling to keep up earlier this week.
The city has had all trucks and staff out clearing snow since the event began Saturday night. After two days of solid snowfall nearly 40 cm had fallen in the city and crews are finally making headway on clearing the snow.
They have been working during the day to clear side streets and the main business areas in the North Shore while downtown areas are the focus of night work.
Though snow removal is not yet complete and an idea of costs will not really be known until next week, Public Works Director Jen Fretz says they are looking at the potential of a fast melt causing flooding.
“If the temperature warms up really quickly we could get some pooling and potential localized flooding,” Fretz says. “As temperatures increase we will be clearing out catch basins to reduce potential flooding as much as possible.”
According to Environment Canada temperatures are expected to be just above 0 Celsius much of the next week. There is a 30 per cent chance of flurries Thursday and Friday and a mix of sun and cloud through to early next week.
Another downside to the snowfall is the numerous complaints the city receives. Fretz says most calls are from people just wanting to know when their street will be plowed but some are from people complaining the plows left windrows at the end of their driveway.
“We are going to get to all of the streets in a priority sequence so people need not think that we have forgotten their street,” she notes. “Unfortunately (windrows) are a result of clearing snow. Windrows are the responsibility of the property owner to clear as the city does not provide this service.”
Sometimes residents will take out their anger on snow plow drivers but so far the RCMP hasn't had to intervene.
“It unfortunately happens quite often. For every two people that want their street plowed there is one person who doesn’t want their street plowed because they don’t want to deal with windrows.”
Some residents have also taken to social media to complain, while others want to thank the city and the random strangers who are helping to dig or push out stuck vehicles around the city.
The storm shut down schools for two days, sections of highways and resulted in nine cancelled flights at Kamloops Airport.
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