Back-lane plowing, spot sanding underway in Winnipeg as snow clearing continues

Back-lane plowing started in Winnipeg Tuesday morning as the city continues clean-up efforts following a hefty snowstorm.

Winnipeg got 22 centimetres of snow during storm on Sunday, Monday

Snow-clearing crews work near the University of Winnipeg on Monday morning. (Darren Bernhardt/CBC)

Back-lane plowing started in Winnipeg Tuesday morning as the city continues clean-up efforts following a hefty snowstorm.

"We're working 24/7. We're working 12-hour [shifts]," said Cheryl Anderson, the City of Winnipeg's acting manager of street maintenance, on Tuesday.

"We have close to 400 pieces of equipment out on these shifts and, yeah, it is a lot of effort to get this done." 

The storm, which started Sunday night and continued throughout Monday, dumped between 10 and 30 centimetres of snow across southern Manitoba. Minnedosa, Erickson and Stonewall got the most snow with 30 centimetres and Winnipeg saw 22 centimetres, according to Environment Canada.

Snow-clearing efforts started in Winnipeg on Monday and are expected to continue until Saturday morning, when the last of the residential routes will be plowed.

Nearly all Priority 1 streets have been plowed, in addition to about half of Priority 2 streets, Anderson said Tuesday afternoon.

Back-lane plowing started Tuesday and spot sanding and salting are also underway to improve traction, the city said.

"This snow clearing [has] been progressing well. It's coming off the road quite well because it is a wetter snow. The snow in December of 2016, it was a much colder event," Anderson said, referring to one of the city's last major clean-up efforts.

In a news release on Tuesday, the city said bus routes and collector streets are expected be finished on Wednesday. Residential clearing will begin on Wednesday evening.

It's the first residential snow-clearing operation this season, she added, because the city hasn't seen enough snow to require one prior to this.

Anderson said roughly two-thirds of Priority 1 sidewalks have been cleared so far. The city has to clear roughly 2,900 kilometres of sidewalk, she said.

"Right now, we have 26 plows out. This snow has been a bit heavier for the sidewalk plows to be able to push, compared to a street plow … so it's taking a bit longer."

Anderson said it's too early to tell how much the effort will cost and urged Winnipeggers to be patient.

The city is encouraging people to be aware of their snow zone and get their vehicles off the streets when the snow-route or residential parking bans are in place.

You can check which zone you're in, as well as the clearing schedule, on the city's website, the Know Your Zone app or by calling 311.

Residential parking bans for Winnipeg are scheduled as follows:

  • 7 p.m. Wednesday to 7 a.m. Thursday: Zones C, I, M, O, S and V.
  • 7 a.m. Thursday to 7 p.m. Thursday: Zones​ D, F, H, K, N, R and U.
  • 7 p.m. Thursday to 7 a.m. Friday: Zones E, G, J, L, P, Q and T.
  • 7 a.m. Friday to 7 p.m. Friday: Zone B.
  • 7 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Saturday: Zone A.