Plugged storm drains can’t handle water from melting snow
Now that the cleanup of last Friday’s snowstorm is nearly done, the city can move on the the next problem: Clearing snow from above storm drains.
The massive snowbanks piled up after the 30 centimetres of snow we got on Friday were melting into slushy piles today, as the temperature climbed to six degrees, creating large puddles in low spots.
But the snowbanks are in the curb, and usually on top of storm drains that channel water into the sewer system, where they act as a barrier that prevents the runoff from entering.
The challenge for the city – and also for homeowners – is to clear away the snow above the drains, to prevent the puddles from getting too big and flooding the lows spots along streets.
Hector Moreno, a road operations manager with the city, said its focus on Tuesday will be to clear the snow from sewer grates, but the city can’t get to every drain in the next 24 hours, while the melting continues.
Anyone with a storm grate in the curb near their property would be doing themselves and their neighbours a favour by taking a shovel and clearing the snow from above it, so the runoff can drain into it.
When the thermometer drops later this week, the puddles will freeze and cause problems for drivers and pedestrians, which makes a bit of preventative action now the neighbourly thing to do.