By Ally Harris
Feb. 12, 2015
It took a while for winter to get going in Charlottetown but once it arrived, it came with a bang.
The city has been hit with more than six feet of snow since Jan. 24, including a metre of snow from two storms last week.
Sixty-five cm was recorded at Charlottetown Airport in a blizzard overnight Feb. 2 into Feb. 3.
“If nothing else was coming, we’d be looking at close to a week of work ahead of us,” said Paul Johnston, Charlottetown’s public works manager.
But that wasn’t the case for Charlottetown. Another 34 cm fell on the city just two days later, on Feb. 5.
The only preparations the city could make for the second storm was to simply get as much snow cleared as possible, said Johnston.
“(We’re) just doing what we can. Managing equipment and staff resources to try and keep them available and not have too many breakdowns.”
The city issued a warning on Tuesday evening that downtown parking for workers would be limited on Wednesday, and then on Wednesday afternoon a 48-hour parking ban was put in place to try and clear the snow from the side of the streets.
“I think they tried very well. It was a bit annoying how they had the parking ban, but they really had no other choice,” said Charlottetown resident Avery Hillstrom.
Spencer Lynch said driving downtown after the storms was difficult with all the snow piled on the side of the streets.
“The first day it was nuts because you’re trying to drive down here and there’s like four feet of snow on either side of the road and you can’t really go anywhere.
“Trying to park was annoying but I don’t work down here so it’s fine for me.”
Thankfully, the only trouble the city ran into was simply the amount of snow.
“Dealing with the conditions that occurred, plows (were) off the street for a short period during the blizzard when they really weren’t able to see where they were going,” said Johnston.
“I think they’re doing a good job,” said Chris McGarry. “They put a lot of money into this every year, I think they’re doing everything they can. It’s a big job.”
McGarry said the parking ban was an effective idea.
“I know a lot of people didn’t like it, and it was an inconvenience, but I think it’s something they had to do to clear all the snow.”
After being hit with so much snow in such a short amount of time, the city had a few days of sunshine to get crews out before the next storm. Johnston predicts the city will have everything done by Feb. 13, just in time for another storm forecast for Feb. 15.