by Courtney Mintenko
Two weeks ago, January 2010 seemed like it was going to bring an early spring. Temperatures rose to allow snow to melt, and puddles covered the streets. Sunday, Jan. 24 destroyed our picturesque winter by bringing a mountain of snow into the queen city.
In the span of 60 hours, over 27 cm of snow landed in Regina. Many services and businesses were slowed or brought to a halt.
The University of Regina was one such place, canceling classes on Monday, Jan. 25. However, snow was not cleared from the university immediately. Sidewalks on campus were blocked until well into Tuesday morning.
For most university students, walking through knee-deep snow is nothing more than an annoyance. Other students, however, were blocked out by the snow.
Gabrielle Roders-Winter is one of many students in a wheelchair who couldn’t get around because of the snow. However, she felt that the university did a good job clearing the snow, considering how much snow fell in such a short time.
“I think as long as they learn from the experience, they can make it a little better next time…these things happen,” Roders-Winter said.
The campus wasn’t the only place to struggle with the snow. Many Regina residents were left frustrated and stuck in the snow.
The city has a plan following every major storm, categorizing streets as to their importance of getting plowed.
The first priority are main streets like Albert and Victoria, which get cleared within 24 hours. Category-two streets are plowed within 36 hours, and include Broadway Ave. and Elphinstone. Category-three streets are to be cleared within 48 hours of the storm ending, and category-four takes 60 hours.
However, this plan was unable to keep up with the snow that fell that weekend.
By 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, a full 24 hours after the storm had stopped, category-one streets were clear. Category-two only had 34 percent cleared, with category three at 15 percent, and category-four at four percent.
Residential streets fall under category five. These streets, according to the city’s website, get plowed “when time permits down to a maximum snow pack layer of 10 cm.”
The City had at least 22 graders clearing streets costing an average $150,000 per day.
The total budget for snow removal in the city is $5.3 million.
The buses for Regina public and separate schools were cancelled starting Jan. 25 and did not resume for a full week. School, however, continued to operate because, as spokesperson Terry Lazarou explained, “Regina Public schools are always open unless there is a physical problem with the school.”
Garbage pick up was also cancelled for the same duration. Arnie Bauer, the solid waste collection manager, stated that he has never seen garbage pick up cancelled for that length of time.