Winnipeg on its way to snowiest December in a century
More than 450 pieces of equipment in 'co-ordinated' effort to clear roads as more set to fall Friday
With two December snowstorms behind it and another one ahead, Winnipeg is well on its way to its snowiest December in 100 years.
Environment Canada's senior climatologist David Phillips has predicted that, by the end of Friday, the city will have received 80 centimetres of snow this month.
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The last time the city had that much snow was 1909, he says.
What's more, this year's snow came late, he said; before Remembrance Day, the city was in a "snow drought."
"All of the snow fell during the mild temperatures, you know, the first nine days of the month and the last 12," Phillips said.
"So it shows you: Pick your poison. Cold and dry or mild and snowy?"
All the white stuff might make the city look like a winter wonderland, but it's also creating problems.
Roads still dangerous
MPI says more than 1,300 collision claims have been opened since Christmas Day, and a majority of those claims are weather-related.
"If they could just kind of level off the tops so at least people could see, cause otherwise you are pulling right out into the street before you can even see anything and that's dangerous," Ronald Bird told CBC News.
Bird considers shovelling a workout and is game for more of the white stuff to fall Friday.
"Hey, it's Winnipeg, it's wintertime," he said.
The city says it expects to be done clearing residential streets and backlanes from Boxing Day's storm by Saturday.
'Massive' co-ordinated effort by city
Ken Allen of the city of Winnipeg Public Works department said there are more than 450 pieces of snow-clearing machinery on the case, plowing 7,800 kilometres of streets and back lanes and 3,100 kilometres of sidewalks in the city.
The city received 256 complaints and service requests to 311 in just 24 hours between Wednesday and Thursday, he said.
"When you start to think about just the scale of the snow-clearing operation it's massive," Allen said.
"But then you have to factor in other things like transit service, and you have to factor in garbage and recycling collection, so there is a lot of co-ordination that's required."
CBC meteorologist John Sauder said another storm is expected to hit the city on Friday.
A fast-moving Alberta clipper is on its way east through the prairies, and Sauder said it will likely leave the city with around 10 centimetres of snow by suppertime.