Rise of the snowbanks: Watching the snow rise

January 10, 2013

Happy New Year!

With the new year has come lots of snow and treacherous conditions for Corner Brook drivers and pedestrians alike! From essentially skiing down streets to leaping over snowbanks, it’s been an eventful time in the city.

I returned to Corner Brook on December 30. All the Avalon had was a light dusting of snow. Passing through the isthmus and into Clarenville, the flakes began to swirl. Gander was almost boxed in. By the time the DRL bus reached Springdale, conditions had heavily deteriorated.

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Fireworks explode over Humber Heights just after midnight, Jan. 1, 2013
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Springdale Junction, Dec. 30, 2012.

Due to these conditions, the bus ended up being an hour late. Weather conditions had cleared up in Corner Brook, but that made the view of the snow from the previous week crystal-clear. I arrived back to my boarding house on Humber Heights, and first had to balance my luggage on the snowbank, then shovel my way in. I was following the weather on Twitter prior to travel, but the reality hit me with a thud. I missed out on a heavy dumping of snow when I was away.

On my travels over the next few days getting ready for the semester, I watched the snowbanks rise. I walked home from Walmart and Dominion one morning in almost whiteout conditions. I stumbled about walking to a WEC board meeting the night before school started, the sidewalk obliterated. I imagine I was not the only person staggering about.

I had to leap over a snowbank in a single bound and dig out the road crossing button to get across O’Connell Drive for registration day at CNA on January 3.

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The snowbanks surrounding CNA Corner Brook Campus on Jan. 3, 2013.

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Obscured road crossing buttons on Jan. 3, 2013 (the situation has improved).
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Snowbanks had to be leapt with a single bound on Jan. 3, 2013 (the situation has improved).

I essentially have to ski down Peddle’s Lane to get to the bus stop in the mornings lately. From my vantage point in the house, I’ve seen vehicles’ wheels stall out and roll back down the hill.

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The snowbanks descending Peddle’s Lane as of Jan. 6, 2013.

What is the city’s snow clearing schedule?

The City plows primary streets first, secondary streets next and side streets last. There are 7 routes around the City for snow clearing purposes: Townsite, O’Connell Drive, Country Road & surrounding area, Humbermouth, Sunnyslope & surrounding area, Elizabeth Street & surrounding area and Curling. During a snow event snow clearing equipment is sent to each route. Not all routes are the same size or the same difficulty level so some are finished in less time than others. When a piece of equipment finishes up one route they either assist on the larger routes that are not finished or depending on the snow accumulation may have to start their same route again from the beginning. It is possible that primary and secondary streets have to be cleared a second time before side streets are cleared.

-Excerpt from the Corner Brook Snow Clearing FAQ.

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Old Christmas Day on West Street (Jan. 6, 2013)

We’re still very early into winter, and the snow height will very likely continue to rise. Do you think that the City’s method of dealing with it is acceptable? Remember that this is a municipal election year for Corner Brook. Keep an eye on snow clearing operations to aid in your decision at the ballot box. If you have issues with the recent reduction of the city bus system during these messy months, remember that too.

If you agree or disagree with the decisions by City Council during their tenure in office, exercise your right to vote on September 24th!