Regina now using salty sand after residents use up 85-tonne dry sand supply for slippery conditions

Regina now using salty sand after residents use up 85-tonne dry sand supply for slippery conditions

Less than a week after freezing rain fell in Regina, coating roads and sidewalks in ice, city residents have depleted the city's supply of free sand for residents — all 85 tonnes of it.

Typically residents will use less than half of that amount — 40 tonnes — in a year. Now the city has to use the fancy sand typically used for sanding roads, which is about six per cent salt.

"This year's weather has caused us to deplete our two-year supply of dry sand," said Norman Kyle, director of roadways and transportation, said in a news release. 

To help make it a little easier, the city has provided sand in boxes across the city — but the reserves depleted too quickly. The city referred to the demand as "surprising and overwhelming." 

The ice on the streets has been a nuisance to anyone who uses them and caused an influx of city residents being taken to emergency rooms at the Pasqua and Regina General hospitals early last week.

However, in the week since then, so few people have gone into emergency rooms that the Saskatchewan Health Authority declined to give numbers on visits, saying that may identify the people who have gone in. 

This week the city completed ice control in residential areas on Monday, while ice in alleyways was expected to wrap up Tuesday. Sandboxes will continue to be filled.

"We will be back to cycling through arterial and collector roads today," a city spokesperson said in an email.

Sand pickup locations can be found here. People are asked to take only what is required.