Giant snow drifts reach rooftops in Delta Beach
People living in Delta Beach, Man., are trying to dig out of giant snow drifts that are piled up outside their homes this week.
Mountains of snow are smothering almost every house along the beach, located 25 kilometres north of Portage la Prairie on the southern shore of Lake Manitoba.
Don Clarkson is living among them. He says he's never seen snow like this.
"We are probably faced with snow drifts in the general area of 15, 18 20 feet tall, pretty much from one end of the beach to the other," he said.
Miles Ward and his crew spent much of Wednesday shovelling snow off of decks and structures, to prevent the weight of the snow from damaging them.
"It's just packed like concrete," said Ward, adding that the snow is the worst he's seen in recent memory.
Delta Beach has had approximately 100 centimetres of snowfall since Nov. 1, which is not an unusually high amount, according to CBC meteorologist John Sauder.
But what has created the giant snowdrifts is the wind off the lake. Sauder said there have been more windy days — and more days with very strong north winds — than usual this season.
The temperature has also been a factor: weeks of frigid, below-normal temperatures means the snow has not had a chance to melt this winter.
Clarkson agreed that the north winds blowing off the lake have been a really strong this year, and he thinks the loss of trees from the 2011 flood has left the area much more open.
"We are pretty much in whiteout conditions and stranded without much road access once the wind gets above 30 kilometres [an hour] right now," he said.
Clarkson said some days, when he gets home from work, he needs to leave his truck on the highway and walk into his house because the drifts will be too high.
Despite the sheer volume of snow, he said he's not worried about flooding because his drainage is good.