Calgary saw 27% of annual snow accumulation during last week's winter storm

·2 min read

Last week's massive snowfall brought 27 per cent of the year's regular accumulation totals in a 24-hour period, a city spokesperson says — and crews are still working to dig out roads throughout Calgary.

"Obviously, we had an exceptional snow event," said Chris McGeachy, spokesperson for the city's roads department. "With the large amount of snowfall, we actually had to adjust our seven-day plan."

Under the city's seven-day snow plan, roads are assigned a priority based on traffic volume.

Routes with the highest volume — such as Crowchild Trail, Glenmore Trail and the downtown core — are cleared first before city crews move onto lower priority routes.

While city crews typically move onto side streets on day three of their seven-day plan, some additional snowfall over the past 24 hours has pushed focus back onto priority one routes, McGeachy said.

"We anticipate we'll be [to residential neighbourhoods] later Monday or on Tuesday," he said. "We're also responding to 311 calls. If there are situations where a road becomes dangerous or impassable, we prioritize those as well."

McGeachy said he hopes the weather starts cooperating soon, adding that last week's snowfall represented the equivalent of between five and 10 typical snowfalls.

Albertao Trejo and Casey Kennedy were out for a walk on Sunday afternoon.

They said they have been walking a lot and only driving when necessary, given the snowy streets and COVID-19 restrictions.

"We're lucky to be not in a rush these days," Kennedy said. "We're OK, and we're not getting too dirty."

Andrew Brown/CBC
Andrew Brown/CBC

Given the large snowfall, McGeachy said crews attended residential streets using a technique known as flatblading, which packs down snow to create a driving lane using parallel blades.

"Of course, one of the side effects of plowing in those areas, is there could be wind rows created [when plows push snow to the side]," McGeachy said. "We had such significant accumulations, that there are some wind rows out there."

McGeachy said Calgarians who find these areas difficult to navigate should contact 311.