Town asks for patience with snow removal

Heather Latter

With Mother Nature having dumped more than 35 cm (14 inches) of snow on Fort Frances over Christmas, town crews have been busy keeping the streets clear.
Now they will spend the coming days working on snow removal.
“Hopefully, people are patient because there is a lot of snow,” said Milt Strachan, the town’s transportation superintendent.
Due to a broken sidewalk plow, he admitted they are way behind with clearing sidewalks.
“We’ve rented a sidewalk blower and we’ve got that out this morning,” he noted.
“We’ll catch up as much as we can with that, but it’s going to take some time,” he warned.
Strachan explained the sidewalks have to be blown free of snow—instead of plowing it—because there is nowhere to pile all the white stuff.
“It’s a lot of snow for a snowblower to blow through,” he remarked, noting crews also are working on removing snow in particular areas of town.
Strachan said snow was removed from the underpass last night and they began clearing the snow in the downtown area, as well.
“We’ll carry on with that all week but we’re shorthanded.
“We’ve got a four-man night crew and a five-man day crew right now, so we can only do what we can do with that many men,” he stressed.
But everyone will be back from vacation in the New Year and crews will be back to full strength, Strachan pledged.
“We’ve got a lot to do,” he acknowledged. “It was quite the storm.
“It’s probably one of the bigger snowfalls that we’ve gotten all at once in quite some time.”
Despite the snow hitting at “the worse possible time,” being the Christmas holiday, Strachan was pleased with the work his crews did to keep the streets clear.
“They know what their role is,” he remarked, adding several men who were on vacation came in to help and they plowed the entire town three times over the weekend.
“I think they did a great job and now we hope people are patient as we work on removing the snow,” Strachan said.