Clearing debris after Calgary snowstorm could take months

CALGARY – Nearly a week after that severe storm wreaked havoc on power lines, Enmax says electricity has finally been restored to all of its customers.

Some people are still waiting for repairs to be done  by a certified electrician but the bulk of the power problems have been solved.

The same can’t be said for the large amounts of debris still cluttering sidewalks and streets.

The city says it could take a least a six months before everything is cleaned up.

Uncertainty is hanging over trees throughout Calgary. The parks department estimates a half million trees on city property have been affected by the storm and that means city parks remain closed.

“Officially for a temporary basis or all our regional parks including this one are closed to the public,” Todd Reichardt with the City of Calgary said.

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“Nobody has seen this kind of damage at this time of year ever.”

The closure could be in effect for two weeks, before city staff are able to trim branches and inspect all the potential dangers that could fall from above.

“Even though the snow has melted and it seems like it’s safe it’s not. I think of it almost like there’s a raging river above your head,” Reichardt said.

A lineup of trucks and trailers can be found at some of the 33 drop off locations the city opened on Saturday.

Mountains of debris are piling up and carted away. City waste officials are pleading with Calgarians to take the waste to landfills if possible, to ease the pressure at these sites.

Dave Griffiths with City of Calgary Waste and Recycling Services said there’s a lot to manage.

“We certainly recognize that but we are here for the long run so don’t despair if there is lots of material there that is success for us,” Griffiths said.

The City of Edmonton will be sending four ariel trucks and crews to help chop damaged limbs. A map will be set up on the city website to show how much progress is being made and when parks will reopen.