Friday, March 20, 2015 (Halifax, NS) – The Halifax Regional Municipality has engaged Halifax Water to assist with clearing catch basins across the region in preparation for the forecasted rain on Saturday.
Catch basins are the municipality’s infrastructure; however, the utility has agreed to help with clearing to ensure crews get to as many locations as possible before the rain. That work began last night and continued today, with crews so far clearing close to 100 locations on the list of the highest priority areas, which have been known to cause problems during rainy events in the past.
Current forecasts are showing periods of snow beginning late in the afternoon on Saturday, changing to rain in the evening. Rainfall amounts could range anywhere from 15 to 30 millimetres in the Halifax region.
Halifax Water will continue cutting out catch basins tonight and tomorrow. Municipal crews are also shifting some resources currently focused on snow clearing to join the assigned Halifax Water crews over the next 24 hours to help with those efforts.
This targeted work will help mitigate, but not completely prevent, the anticipated impact of the rain tomorrow. There is simply no way to get to all locations across the region before it rains. Residents should still be prepared for water on the streets in areas where the runoff has nowhere to go and to drive carefully if they need to be on the roads.
In the past, residents have been known to help clear catch basins. The municipality certainly appreciates this help and would encourage people to continue this effort in the coming days, but only if they are aware of the location of the catch basins in their neighbourhood and can safely do the work.
Crews will do their best to avoid filling in the catch basins that residents may have cleared on their own, but it will be a challenge with the ongoing clearing efforts on the streets and sidewalks. Clearing crews are coordinating with Halifax Water to ensure that the high priority areas that have been addressed are not filled back in.
In addition, members of Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency are providing assistance to Halifax Water by clearing snow from hydrants and coordinating with the utility to facilitate further work on this in the coming days.
When not responding to emergency calls, HRFE has directed its members to grab a shovel and start digging — any spots that can’t be cleared by hand will be reported to Halifax Water for crews to return with heavy machinery later. Citizens are also encouraged to chip in if they are able to do so safely.
For regular weather updates and information on clearing efforts, please visit www.halifax.ca/snow.