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Moncton snow removal budget at risk

Andrea Stockton, staff writer

February 3, 2011 — $5 million for annual snow removal is usually enough in Moncton, but this year is proving to be a challenge.

Moving snow is crucial as continuous storms roll through
Moving snow is crucial as continuous storms roll through

Snow clearing crews in Moncton have definitely been pushed to the max this winter. And with two months still left of the season, the city is already at risk of exceeding its snow removal budget.

Around $5 million is allotted annually for plowing, salting and moving snow. While this budget has proved to be sufficient in recent years, there's a concern that there may be some financial problems later in the year.

The 'Groundhog Day Storm' was the most recent to dump around 20 cm of snow on the city. Before that, storm after storm that has pummeled the region has resulted in 215 cm of snow since the beginning of the season.

“This year is certainly the snowiest in the last for our five years, four for sure,” says Brian LeBlanc, Snow Removal Contractor.

City crews are struggling to keep up as there is barely any down time in between storms. Now, the main focus has been trying to move the existing snow to allow for any additional accumulations.

City crews working around the clock
City crews working around the clock

Officials say the only thing that could help alleviate any tensions with the budget is if the frequency of storms let up.

Some groundhogs failed to see their shadows on Wednesday, which typically signifies an early spring, but the chance of winter ending in just a few weeks is slim.

“Right now even for the weekend we have to watch for another potential storm for Atlantic Canada coming up the eastern seaboard of the U.S. later Saturday into Sunday,” says Chris Scott, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. “And next week there are some suggestions out there that we may see another storm coming to the Great Lakes and southern Quebec into Atlantic Canada as well.”

The reaction to that news?

“I've had enough, I'm really tired,” says one Monctonian.

Keep up-to-date on your forecast by checking out The Weather Network on TV where the National forecast comes up at the top and bottom of every hour. You can also click our Canadian Cities Index.

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