City of Edmonton road crews have been busy fielding calls about flooded streets and sidewalks after a mixed bag of recent warm and cold weather, sprinkled with bouts of freezing rain and snowfall.
As of Tuesday afternoon, crews had cleared 1,000 catch basins — but that was only 50 per cent of the work that needed to be done to fix roadway issues addressed by Edmontonians.
As the melt continues, the city expects calls to 311 to go up for snow removal concerns. Andrew Grant, from the City of Edmonton’s infrastructure field operations department, said they will increase resources.
“The work never really stops,” Grant, said.
“This year has been a very abnormal year when it comes to freeze thaw cycles.”
According to Environment Canada, Edmonton saw roughly 75 centimetres of snow from November to the start of February.
The national weather agency said January is usually the snowiest month and March is the 2nd snowiest — so Edmonton could still see more.
Grant acknowledged melting windrows piled up by blading crews aren’t helping the situation but adds, it’s not the only contributing factor to the icy, slushy mess on sidewalks and streets.
“I think a lot of the issue is just the melt off people’s private property.
“Everything is designed to drain to the road (but) when you have a continuous freeze-thaw cycles, the water runs and then freezes overnight. “
The top priority for the city this week is clearing catch basins and crews are working 24/7 to get that work done. But Grant said homeowners need to do their part to chip in with snow removal.
“It’s definitely a little bit of everyone’s responsibility. We’re working on the catch basins to make sure that water has somewhere to go, but as well it is important that traction material is getting put down,” Grant said.
People are encouraged to call 311 to report any issues related to the freeze-thaw cycles or snow removal.
As for potholes, the city said it has a dedicated crew that works year-round to repair them — especially big ones that are a safety concern. But a big melt instead of more freeze-thaw cycles will help reduce the amount come spring, Grant said.