Crews Continue Storm Cleanup

Public Asked for Patience and Cooperation as Crews Continue Storm Cleanup
Posted on 01/16/2020
The City of Charlottetown’s Public Works Department is asking the public for patience and cooperation as it continues the snow and ice removal from the latest storm. The mixture of freezing rain, snow and ice pellets from the storm that took place on Sunday, January 12 has made clearing and hauling the mess slow and difficult. Half of the City’s sidewalk fleet broke while trying to clear the snow and ice from the sidewalks this week. As the department focused operations on hauling snow off streets, there have also been impacts on larger winter equipment.

“It’s been a real struggle to keep the equipment in operation with this kind of snow and ice mixture,” said Councillor Mike Duffy, Chair of the City’s Public Works and Urban Beautification committee. “As a result of repairs needed, it’s taking crews twice as long as usual to clean up from the last storm.”

In addition to the heavy snow and ice mixture, the department has also had equipment breakdowns due to debris left in the streets and sidewalks. While most of the sidewalk machine repairs were completed on Monday, additional breakdowns have since taken place. A large bag of garbage that was buried under the snow jammed the City’s remaining operational blower on Wednesday night, which meant snow piled in the street for hauling didn’t get removed in some areas of the city yet.

“In the past few days, some of our machines have encountered logs of wood buried on the sidewalks and things like lawn chairs that were left during the storm that either blew into street or sidewalk or were left out for garbage pickup and not dug out after the snowfall,” Councillor Duffy said. “The other issue is now that it has been a few days since the storm, I think the public has – understandably – lost some of their patience with our cleanup efforts and we are seeing a lot more vehicles on the side of the street, with people not respecting the winter parking restrictions. Those restrictions are in place to help our crews do their job before, during and after weather events.”

The City of Charlottetown has three large blowers; once has been repaired and is back in operation but the other two still need some work. There are six plow trucks and 13 sidewalk machines, along with – at times – about 30 contracted trucks; however, crews have been dealing with continuous breakdowns and repair time.

Despite the issues the crews have faced, about 90 per cent of the cleanup efforts are now complete and the department expects to wrap up today (Thursday, January 16).

“There are still areas where snow needs to be hauled or sidewalks haven’t been cleared, but they have been working at it diligently and the mechanics are also working around the clock. Despite the additional challenges, they have made progress, but we’re asking for a little more cooperation and patience from the public,” said Councillor Duffy. “I’d also like to thank the crews and contractors for their tireless efforts and dedication in getting all of this work completed before the next storm.”

For more information on the City’s winter operations, visit the Winter Operations webpage.