Clearing the air on snow clearing

Sunday night I predicted to my wife that the grader would fill in my driveway overnight. I made the prediction looking at the buildup of beaten-up snow in the centre of Second Street and the snow that had fallen over the two days in my yard and the drifting that took place.

Monday morning, I was not wrong. My driveway was filled in again with snow-ice chips removed from the street and the banks that the grader had tried to move back to the curb. The banks had already grown in height do exceed the height of the side plow.

I am one of the fortunate residents in Fort Frances who can rely on the Public Works Crew to clean my street three times before they even begin looking at other streets in our community. As I look at the street today, there are ruts back down to pavement on both sides of the street making it safer to drive on. That is a blessing and is a testament to the work of town crews.

Travelling to and from Calgary at Christmas, I gained firsthand how fortunate we are in our community. All our streets are plowed, not just the thoroughfares. Cities like Swift Current, Medicine Hat, Regina and even Winnipeg all but forget neighborhood streets. Drivers and pedestrians make their way over heavily snow packed deep rutted streets. Even service roads are tough to navigate.

Snow shovelling is part of my daily exercise routine.

Without diligence by the town, my exercise regime would be greatly reduced. Today’s snow shuttle only took 30 minutes to clear. Arriving home just before New Year’s clearing the driveway entrance to get into my garage took a full hour using a snow blower. I have been out clearing the driveway three times in the past week, each outing giving a full cardio-vascular workout, pushing snow, getting steps in and lifting and shovelling snow over my head at the driveway.

My stamina is growing. My heavy 1970’s leather upper Sorels seem to be growing lighter on my feet. The felt liner is as warm as ever. Throwing snow with my shovel is becoming easier. I do not feel as winded as I did two weeks ago using the snowblower to clean my walks and driveway. At my driveway, the bank now reaches above my head and the amount of snow on my shovel is much less, but the compactness of the snow and ice make the shovel just as heavy.

We would all like to see all streets and sidewalks cleared of snow instantly. It would take far more equipment and workforce that we can afford. The town has a snow clearing policy, and it works well. We are fortunate that snow clearing in our neighborhoods is a priority in our community.

Former Publisher
Fort Frances Times