Friday, February 22 at 1:00 pm
Our snow clearing equipment started clearing operations this morning and are currently out tackling drifts and opening up roads. The strong winds overnight caused drifting once again making for some heavy pushes in certain areas.
With more snow in the forecast tomorrow, our Public Works Department will have equipment ready to go out if necessary.
This year, the weather conditions have put our defensive driving to the extreme test. Please be cautious and avoid unnecessary travel when there are winter storms. For the latest update on roadway conditions and closures visit Manitoba 511.
We appreciate everyone’s patience. We finally see temperatures in the plus’ next week so get your lawn chairs ready to catch some rays!
Where to put all this snow
You’re probably outside clearing your driveway thinking, where am I going to put all this snow!?
First, please don’t push snow onto the roadways. We do have By-Law 4-2008 that states snow cannot be deposited onto RM roads, this is in place for several reasons:
- Safety – if this snow gets hard and icy it can be jarring for the plow and the operator which are travelling at brisk speeds and can also be dangerous for other vehicles
- Road conditions – this snow can leave ridges on the road which make it bumpy for vehicles that drive over them
- Proper road clearing – snow left on the roadway accumulates drifts at an even quicker rate and makes it difficult for our operators to properly clean roadways
We ask that you try to leave as much snow on your own properties as possible but we understand that this year we all seem to be running out of room! This year will be much of a special case and we do understand that everyone is having difficulties with the snow but for yours, your neighbours and our equipment operator’s safety, we ask that you please try to manage the snow on your property so that it is not left on the roads and our graders won’t hit it with their blades.
Our enforcement will continue to keep an eye out for snow piled directly on the roadway and will work to educate and issue notices to those in violation as necessary.
Pushing back snowbanks
As we mentioned with this year receiving remarkable snowfalls, our Public Works will be going out and pushing back snow banks into the ditches in some select problematic areas where there are extremely high and long accumulations of snow collecting on roadway shoulders to minimize further extreme drifting. We have a lot of wide open roads in our rural areas where the large amounts of snow and high winds have created almost a maze once our operators are able to open up the road, which takes longer than normal due to the conditions and not having the room for a grader to go down the road resulting in additional equipment needed.
Please be cautious during winter storms as we will continue to advise against unnecessary travel in unsafe conditions. As necessary, we will continue to provide updates on our website and social medias when important information becomes available for snow clearing and road travel.
If it is absolutely necessary that you head out on the road during these conditions, please make sure of the following:
- Check Manitoba 511 for road closures and conditions
- Dress warmly
- Have a full tank of gas
- Make sure that someone is aware of the route you are taking
- If you are on the road and get stranded, call police, ensure your tailpipe is clear of snow and only turn on your car intermittently to stay warm.
Snow Clearing Practices
We want to remind our residents that when major snowfalls occur, our Public Works top priority is to work as quickly as possible to get roads cleared, it is imperative that our roadways are kept as safe as possible for use. When snow accumulation gets to about 5 cm (2 inches), we being plowing, even if the snow is still falling. This is of course dependent on the weather conditions and visibility, which can affect when equipment is dispatched, this is for the safety of both our staff and residents. We normally cannot provide a detailed time that each specific road will be cleared due to us having over 900 km’s of roadways to maintain. There does need to be a start and an end for our clearing operations and with the large size of our Municipality our goal is to have all roads cleared within 2-3 days of a snowfall which can be affected due to high winds, blowing snow, packed snow and drifts.
Community areas, fire stations and transfer stations are cleared first. Typically, the RM starts clearing snow in the north and south ends of the RM, moving towards each other until all the roads are cleared. This is the quickest, most efficient way to get the snow cleared.
When it is snowing, we will sand (intersections only) after we plow to ensure the sand does not get plowed off into the ditch. We use a mix of sand with 5-15% salt.
Snow clearing reminders and safety tips:
It is important that we all make sure to follow safe practices for our snow clearing equipment and operators and for our own safety and our children’s. Please keep these reminders in mind when around snow clearing equipment:
- Did you know? The province is responsible for clearing: Provincial Roads (PR’s), Provincial Trunk Highways (PTH’s) and Highways (HWY’s).
- After a plow passes, you may find that a windrow of snow is left at the end of your driveway. This is the responsibility of the homeowner to open up. Our operators have hundreds of kilometers of roadway to maintain as quickly as possible and unfortunately just do not have the time to lift their blade at our many thousands of residents driveways.
- Maintain a distance of at least 50 feet from the rear of a snow plow so the driver can see you – not only is this for the safety of yourself and the operator but other vehicles as well
- Avoid passing or driving beside plows as this can be very unsafe and can create whiteout conditions – the operator will pull over to let you pass when it is safe to do so
- When plows are out, do not park your vehicle on the road or at the end of your driveway in the path of the plow. This can not only be dangerous for the plow but it does not allow for proper snow clearing
- Please do not push snow onto the road when clearing your driveway, as it creates a danger to public safety, as well as equipment operators and municipal equipment because if this snow gets hard and icy it can be jarring for the plow, which is travelling at a brisk speed, and can damage it. This also can leave ridges on the road which make it bumpy for vehicles who drive over them
- By-Law 4-2008 addresses the prevention of the unwanted placement of snow, ice and other obstructing materials on municipal roads, parks and reserves within the municipality. The by-law means if you are found to have caused an obstruction, you will have to pay the cost of its removal by the RM
- When a snow plow is approaching, teach children to stay off the road and snowbanks beside the road
- Do not install signs, markers, fencing, decorations or mailboxes too close to the roadways, as snow plows could damage them
- If you have private garbage pick up and it is snowing, please put the bins on your driveway at least 10 feet from the road, so they don’t slow down the plows and don’t get knocked over. If you put the cans on the road this causes problems for our equipment operators:
- They have to slow down and go around the bins
- The force of the cleared snow might knock bins over
- The plows will have to return the next day to replow those areas
* The RM is not responsible for damage to items that are too close to the road