New Brunswick

'Extremely difficult' conditions for Saint John plow operators

Much of Saint John shut down Monday, but street-clearing crews are “hanging in there,” according to Mike Hugenholtz, commissioner of transportation and environment for the City of Saint John.

With more snow forecast for Thursday, city crews struggle to get ahead on snow removal

Saint John plows have kept up fairly well with main streets, but crews aren't likely to finish less-travelled streets until late Tuesday afternoon, says transportation commissioner Mike Hugenholtz says. (Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon/CBC)

Much of Saint John shut down Monday, but street-clearing crews are "hanging in there," according to Mike Hugenholtz, commissioner of transportation and environment for the City of Saint John.

Most of the main streets were in good condition as of Tuesday morning, but "it's still a battle with many of the side streets," said Hugenholtz.

Many less-travelled roads won't be fully plowed out until later Tuesday afternoon.

"We are working through the whole day," Hugenholtz said.

Pedestrians, stuck cars a challenge

With another 10 to 15 centimetres of snow in Thursday’s forecast, Saint Johners can expect more overnight parking bans in the coming days, Hugenholtz says. (Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon/CBC)

The conditions Monday were "extremely difficult" for snow removal crews, according to Hugenholtz.

"The visibility was very poor with blowing snow and high winds," Hugenholtz said. "There were pedestrians walking on the roads, which was a challenge, and cars getting stuck, which blocked access both for other cars and our plows.

"I think people need to ask themselves if they really need to hit the roads. Exercise your judgment, and remember you aren't doing anyone any favours if you get stuck."

More snow on the way

Saint Johners who use on-street parking need to keep up to date on parking bans, or risk being ticketed or towed. (Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon/CBC)

With another 10 to 15 centimetres of snow in Thursday's forecast, Saint Johners can expect more overnight parking bans Tuesday night and in the coming days, Hugenholtz said.

The double-whammy "isn't ideal," he said, but "we can't schedule the storms at a more convenient time."

"We'll have make our best effort to be in good shape for Thursday," he said.

Parking ban information can be found on the city's site, Twitter and Facebook.

Hugenholtz also reminded frustrated, storm-struck folks that while the hostile weather is tough on everybody, the snow-removal crews are working as hard as possible.

"Many of them are working multiple "12, 14, 16-hour shifts in a row," he said. "And a lot of times when they get home, they have their own driveways to clear and walkways to shovel. 

"But they always do their best for the city of Saint John."


 

With files from Information Morning Saint John