Regina closing snow dump, contractors worried

The City of Regina is closing its snow dump — although it appears there's no shortage of customers.

The City of Regina is closing its snow dump — although it appears there's no shortage of customers.

The city has announced that due to rising temperatures, the snow storage facility will close Wednesday at 5 p.m. CST.

About 1.1 million cubic metres of the white stuff had been dropped off the last time officials checked, last month.

If all that snow was packed together, it would make a snowball twice as high (128 metres) as the City Hall building (63 metres).

But temperatures are supposed to creep up to 0 C by the weekend, making it harder for trucks to move around at the site on Fleet Street in the northeast corner of the city.

"It's getting fairly congested — there's a record amount of snow at the site," Chris Warren, manager of winter maintenance, said. "With the temperatures getting above zero, the ground has become very difficult to access. So a combination of those events has lead to the decision of closing the snow dump site."

The question people may be asking is: Where are they supposed to put their snow?

There was a long line of dump trucks outside the facility Wednesday morning. Some snow removal contractors, including Graham Pfeiffer, told CBC News they were shocked that the city was closing the dump with no backup plan.

"We knew that we were approaching the record snowfall for months now," Pfeiffer said. "To not have a backup plan is beyond reason to me considering we have so much bare land. The city really should have had a backup plan."

Meanwhile, the City of Saskatoon has already closed one snow dump — the one on Central Avenue — but is keeping two others open for now.

Those are the snow dumps on Wanuskewin Road (1.8 kilometres north of 71st Street) and Valley Road (south of the CN Rail yards)

Some areas of Saskatchewan have seen record-setting snowfall this winter. Regina has recorded more than two metres, breaking a record set in the 1950s.

City officials say depending on how fast the spring melt occurs, there's a danger of high runoff that could flood basements. They are urging residents to move snow away from their foundations.