The hidden dangers of massive snowbanks

The hidden dangers of massive snowbanks
The hidden dangers of massive snowbanks

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They’ve been piling up all winter.

And after weeks of storms and freezing conditions, they can reach dangerous heights: Snow piles.

Given the size of some of these things, there’s a good chance you’ll be seeing them well into spring.

And while playing on snow piles is a right of passage for MANY Canadian children - and – let’s face it - adults - there are some dangers hidden within.

Snow piles can obstruct vision

Typically, they shouldn’t be higher than three metres in commercial zones and two metres in residential zones, but that’s enough to block the view of oncoming traffic or other pedestrians.

Visit our Complete Guide to Spring 2023 for an in-depth look at the Spring Forecast, tips to plan for it and much more!

Not all snowbanks can support your weight

Snow piles may look like solid mountains, but they aren’t always as sturdy as they appear.

Just because something looks like it can support your weight doesn’t mean that it can. Some piles are propped up by air pockets or unstable snow, which could leave you susceptible to injury if you try to climb one.

RELATED: Four alarming things that could be lurking in your leaf piles

Snow piles can make more work for first responders

When a big snowstorm hits, crews rush out to clear the roads, leaving piles behind that can obstruct the path to handicapped parking spots or entryways, or critical services like fire hydrants.

If you have a fire hydrant on your property, it’s your responsibility to ensure it remains accessible. First responders recommend clearing a 1-metre perimeter around the hydrant, and chipping away the ice as it forms.

Thumbnail image by Cheryl Santa Maria via Canva. Video production by April Walker, Jordan Caprice, and Cheryl Santa Maria.

WATCH: Blinded by snow, drivers plow full speed into pileup

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