With record-breaking levels of snow falling on the City of Cold Lake over the Easter weekend, city officials are thankful to the public for its patience.
“I’m very happy with the way the community responded to the weather,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “I understand it was frustrating if a person needed to get anywhere, but our road crews were out all weekend to clear the snow as it fell, and we are proud of the job they did.”
Residents are thanked for their understanding and patience throughout the weekend. An announcement was made through the city’s Facebook page in regards to snow removal, which reached almost 14,000 people, and was shared over 80 times.
“I’m thankful the word was able to spread so quickly about what crews were up to over the holiday weekend,” said Copeland. “A lot of people had questions about what was going on, and it was nice to see interaction and feedback.”
Crews worked daily to remove the snow, following the priority areas as set out by the city’s Snow Removal Policy.
“The decision was made to push the snow to the side to allow for faster access to more areas,” said Chief Administrative Officer Kevin Nagoya. “Crews went back around later to unblock driveways once the main arteries of the city had been cleared; this took time due to the volume of snow.” The City’s snow storage facilities were also closed due to the recent warm temperatures making them into inaccessible mud pits which limited options to store snow.
As of Tuesday, some residential areas had yet to be cleared, as crews continued to work across the city to clear as much snow as possible.
Due to the snowfall, the previously released sweeping schedule is being revisited.
“The streets need to clear and dry up again,” said Nagoya. “Once they’re dry, we will have a new sweeping schedule ready to put into action. Line painting will be shortly behind the sweepers.”
As the weather warms up, the remaining snow is expected to melt quickly, and it may cause flooding in certain areas of the city. Residents are advised to keep storm drains near their homes clear of snow to allow water to be removed from the street.
Areas that typically fall under greater threat of flooding in the city include the Marina, Beach Avenue, Birch Area, Pine Ave, 1 Ave, Lakeshore Drive, 54 Ave (from Hwy 28 to 49 Street), 53 Ave, 55 Street (from RCMP detachment to Veteran’s Drive), 59 Street, and Red Fox Drive.
To get ready for a rapid snow melt, residents can:
– Remove snow from around your home’s foundation. Pay particular attention to areas around window wells.
– Remove snow from the outside edge of your lot. Most lots drain along the outside.
– Keep the snow in your yard. Shovelling onto the streets or lanes could block drains, and is prohibited.
– Help keep catch basins clear. Where possible, safely clear snow, ice, and debris from the catch basins in your area.
– Clear snow and ice from around the bottom of your downspouts and extend the downspouts at least two metres so that water drains away from your foundation.
– Check your roof and eaves troughs for excess snow. A roof rake may help to clear the snow and debris from the edge of your roof.
– Consider using sandbags to block water from entering low lying areas beside your foundation.
– If water is getting close to your foundation, use and appropriate pump to drain it to the gutter or back lane. Please use all equipment properly and follow safety guidelines.
If residents have issues with flooding, the Public Works shop can be reached at 780-594-4496, and the after-hours emergency line can be reached at 780-207-0173 for emergencies only.