Ice-clogged storm drains cause slippery streets and sidewalks in Calgary

City crews have been busy this week trying to keep Calgary’s 60,000 storm drains and catch basins clear as the recent temperature swings — from warm days to cold nights — are causing some to back up and others to ice over.

With 60K storm drains in the city, crews are busy keeping them clear during the big melt

Mechanic says alignment should be checked sooner than later 0:47

City crews have been busy this week working to keep Calgary's 60,000 storm drains and catch basins clear as the recent temperature swings — from warm days to cold nights — are causing some to back up and others to ice over.

Since March 1, there have been 1,873 calls for service relating to storm drains — nearly 400 more than the same time period last year.

And as of Sunday, crews had attended to 1,549 of the 2,000 catch basins and storm drains that are considered a priority.

Water isn't draining from the lane behind Catherine Seymour's home, making it tough to get in and out when it ices over, and she's hoping crews will soon turn up to deal with the problem.

A city spokesperson says a typical response time is five days, and that can be even longer when there's a heavy melt.

In cases of emergency, however, the city will respond within 24 hours.

"I really think they should be here having a look at all the drains because we could really do with some help clearing all the ice away so when it does melt it actually starts to move," said Seymour.

"I understand why everyone is calling … I suppose there's just not enough people to deal with the issue. Neighbours are doing some and we'll help, but there isn't really enough of us."

The swings in temperature have also caused a number of potholes to begin appearing around the city.

City crews have been patching the ones deemed a priority, but the annual repair program has not yet begun.

Whether you're walking or in a car, getting around Calgary has been tough in recent days as backed up storm drains means icy streets and sidewalks. (Mike Symington/CBC)