City crews switching to clearing out culverts during week-long thaw

A large puddle on 89th Ave near Matthews Park. Photo by Chris Newton

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Fort St. John work crews say that almost all city streets have been graded during this week’s spring thaw, and crews are now bringing in steam trucks to clear out culverts to avert potential flooding.

The City’s GM of Integrated Services Victor Shopland says that crews have been working to clear snow from curbs on city streets so that storm drains are accessible, and have begun the process of using steam to melt ice that has frozen inside of those during the winter months. Shopland said that the City has four steam units at its disposal, and staff have begun reaching out to private companies with the potential of contracting additional units.

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Shopland said that city crews have noticed that the thaw does not appear to be as intense as last Spring, though with it being the middle of March, colder temperatures could make a return. He explained that residents that notice large puddles and areas with poor drainage can help point crews in the right direction by notifying the City via its mobile app or on the City’s website, fortstjohn.ca.

Earlier today, the provincial government said that a higher-than-normal snowpack in B.C. could cause the potential for flooding this Spring. The River Forecast Centre says it is monitoring stream levels closely in case the province sees a repeat of last Spring, when over 2,500 were evacuated from their homes.

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