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City crews in ‘ready-to-serve’ mode as Winnipeg awaits forecasted snowfall

A grader plows a Winnipeg street.
A grader plows a Winnipeg street. File / Global News

Winnipeg could be facing its first significant snow dump of the winter on Wednesday evening, and city crews say they’re ready to keep the streets clear no matter what happens.

Much of southern Manitoba — including the city of Winnipeg — was under a snowfall warning for Wednesday into Thursday, with up to 15 cm expected to fall in some regions.

The City of Winnipeg’s Ken Allen told 680 CJOB snow-clearing crews are on standby.

READ MORE: Snowfall warning issued for parts of southern Manitoba

“Right now, we’re in a ready-to-serve situation, where we have our plows at the ready and we have our sanding trucks ready,” said Allen, a spokesman for the city’s public works department.

“When the snow starts to fly later this afternoon, our crews will be out on the road working to sand those streets and intersections and bridges and underpasses to improve traction on the roadway.”

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Allen said the exact number of vehicles and manpower is hard to predict, because it depends on the severity of the potential snowfall, but he said a major snow operation can use upwards of 300 pieces of equipment.

“I can tell you that when the snow starts to come down this afternoon, we’re going to have sanding trucks out in all areas of the city,” Allen said, “focusing sanding efforts on our main routes and our bus routes and collector streets.”

READ MORE: Light snow and warm weather a boon for Manitoba downhill skiing

While the city has been out earlier this winter to clear snow, Allen said the milder temperatures have meant they’ve been able to get by with just a salt application to clear the roads.

But with temperatures below -15C, and the amount of snow expected, that won’t cut it this time.

“With the colder temperatures, we’re sanding and we’re going to be plowing in order to keep those roadways open.”

Allen said despite the city’s efforts to keep the roads clear of snow and ice, Winnipeg drivers need to remember to drive to conditions for everyone’s safety.

Click to play video: 'Winnipeggers embrace the snow storm'
Winnipeggers embrace the snow storm

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