Saturday, March 21, 2015 (Halifax, NS) – Halifax Water and municipal crews are making steady progress clearing catch basins across the Halifax region before the forecast rain starts later this evening.
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. This targeted work has been underway, day and night, since Thursday evening. Crews have cleared more than 400 catch basins in close to 200 locations on the list of the highest priority areas, which have been known to cause problems during rainy events in the past.
That number is even higher when you consider the ongoing snow removal work on streets across the region. As those streets are opened up, so too are the drains along the edge of the roadway.
Current forecasts are showing periods of snow beginning in the early afternoon, changing to rain around suppertime. Rainfall amounts could range anywhere from 20 to 40 millimetres in the Halifax region.
To prepare for the flurries, municipal crews were out this morning salting the main arterial routes to help reduce the buildup of snow on those streets.
The work to clear catch basins over the past couple of days will help mitigate, but not completely prevent, the anticipated impact of tonight’s rain; however, there is simply no way to get to all locations before the weather hits. Residents should still be prepared for water on the streets in areas where the runoff has nowhere to go and are advised to drive carefully if they need to be on the roads.
Starting this afternoon, those municipal resources dedicated to opening up catch basins will start switching over to respond to reports of pooling water and more serious flooding in low-lying areas, as required.
All of this work has been made easier due to the continuing 24-hour restriction on all on-street parking. Halifax Regional Police are working with clearing crews and doing proactive patrols to help prevent people from parking on the street. Officers will ticket and tow any vehicles that are on the streets hampering snow removal.
The municipality appreciate any help from residents to clear catch basins, if people know where they’re located and can do the work safely. Crews will do their best to avoid filling in areas where residents may have opened up on their own but, given the significant amount of snowfall, it will be a challenge with the ongoing clearing efforts. Crews are coordinating with Halifax Water to ensure that the high priority areas that have been addressed are not filled back in.
Members of Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency are also making great progress shovelling out hydrants, in between responding to emergency calls. As of this morning, HRFE members had cleared about 200 priority hydrants and they are coordinating with Halifax Water to identify any spots that will require heavy machinery to clear. Citizens are also encouraged to chip in if they are able to do so safely.
For more information, residents and media can also visit www.halifax.ca/snow.