Record January snowfall draining city snow removal budget
'We are spending a lot faster than we have in previous years,' city says
A record amount of snow has already fallen in Windsor this January.
Environment Canada says the 86.6 cm of snow beats the previous record of 86.4 cm.
Windsor normally gets 35 cm of snow in January.
"Windsor has been in the track of a series of systems [from] the Prairies," meteorologist Geoff Coulson said. "Each one of these systems individually is not giving a lot in the way of snow, but the fact that Windsor has been hit repeatedly by them has led to this new record for snowiest January."
The record amount has put a serious dent in Windsor's snow budget.
The city set aside $3.5 million for snow removal for this year. A few weeks ago, council approved an additional $1 million.
Pete Matheson, maintenance manager for the public works department, says it will take a couple more storms to wipe out this year's snow budget.
"Every time we go into plowing of residential neighbourhoods it's in the area of $250,000," Matheson said. "So another two or three residential plowings will probably put us very close to ... the original $3.5-million budget."
City plow and salt crews were making their way onto residential streets around noon Monday.
The cold temperatures will make salt less effective. So the city warned drivers to use extra caution, especially approaching intersections.
The city also said in a media release that wherever possible, vehicles should be removed from roads to provide plow drivers with unobstructed access.
Matheson says $2 million has already been spent on snow removal.
"We are spending a lot faster than we have in previous years because of the weather conditions," Matheson said. "Where we'll be at the end of the year will depend upon how February and March and November and December play out.
"If it remains very severe winter and very severe in the fall, we could overspend by year end."