PEI

Ice-blocked culverts keep P.E.I. road crews busy on Monday

P.E.I.'s road crews struggled to clear ditches and culverts of ice on Monday as the blockages are forced water onto roads and highways.

Special weather statement in effect for all of P.E.I.

Vehicles splash through the water on Queen Street on Monday. (Shane Hennessey/CBC)

P.E.I.'s road crews struggled to clear ditches and culverts of ice on Monday as the blockages are forced water onto roads and highways.

The province had all available crews out to deal with the many problem areas. Heavy rain overnight combined with the flash freeze on the weekend are being blamed for the problem.

The Department of Transportation said it is manageable, but expected crews to be busy all day.

The rain has led to some flooding in Charlottetown. (John Robertson/CBC)

Islanders can also expect a big temperature swing Monday and overnight into Tuesday.

The temperature reached around 10 C, but it will fall to freezing in the evening, with showers flipping over to flurries. The forecast is for a drop to -11 C by Tuesday morning, which will make for more icy conditions on the morning commute.

Road crews worked to clear ice blocked ditches and culverts on Monday. (Laura Meader/CBC)

The rain throughout the day made it tough to sand sidewalks and for salt to stay on roads. The province said conditions got better as the day went on.

The province started digging out ditches last week but the extreme temperatures created problems.

"We've seen a lot of changing in temperatures so we saw a lot of flash freezes, that's where we see the ditches being full and culverts being full," said the Department of Transportation's Stephen Szwarc. "It's very, very busy, our dispatch office is receiving many, many calls, it hasn't stopped yet."

The rain was especially heavy overnight. (Kevin Yarr/CBC)

Road workers were able to remove many of the ice jams in ditches throughout the day.

Transportation officials are reminding people to slow down and watch for water and ice on the road. 

The City of Charlottetown and the province said they will have crews out working throughout the night to monitor conditions.

With files from Stephanie Kelly