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Council thanks community and staff for snow response

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After massive amounts of snow hit the City of Cranbrook over the past few weeks, city council is recognizing the work done by staff and the public to dig out the community.

Mayor Lee Pratt said it’s been great to see neighbours helping neighbours clear snow and keep the community moving.

“We’ve seen so many people in our community work hard to help where they can with snow clearing efforts, and it is important that they are recognized,” said Pratt.

He said it’s been tough for public works crews to keep up due to staffing issues brought on by COVID-19 protocols.

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“Public works crews are working hard and staff are taking all the overtime they can handle to try keep up. Our team has been amazing in some pretty tough conditions over the past few weeks,” Mayor Pratt added.

“I applaud the efforts of our staff to meet the needs of the community, while the department continues to battle staffing and resource challenges due to COVID protocols and schooling and childcare disruptions. I thank you!”

City staff said crews have an outlined process when snow falls to make sure priority routes are always kept open.

It includes major streets, hospital zones, roads accessing emergency service facilities, roads with severe grades and transit routes.

According to city staff, there are 60 km of priority routes that take about four passes to clear. This results in 240 km of plowing required to complete just the first set of priority routes.

Mike Matejka, manager of roads and infrastructure, said it usually takes all of their resources to plow priority sections, so local streets are not included.

“We work closely with first responder agencies to determine the primary routes they use within the city, as well as the primary routes they use to access areas served outside of the city,” added Matejka.

“Local streets are not included in these emergency response routes as it often takes all our available resources to keep the 60 km of first priority routes maintained during and after a winter storm event.

“In years of heavy snowfall like we are experiencing, we will actively monitor all streets, including residential areas, to determine if additional snow removal or maintenance is required to maintain safe access.”

Operators are finishing snow clearing by hitting some of the smaller alleys and cul-de-sacs and if your street has been missed you can contact public works by calling 311.

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