Newfoundland's Snowmageddon Is Blowing Snow-Clearing Budget In St. John's By $5 Million
It costs a lot to clear all that snow.
Every snowfall brings with it a huge cleanup and snow-clearing effort. However, when so much snow comes down that cars and homes are buried underneath, that clean up can take some time and cost a lot of money. The Newfoundland blizzard is blowing the snow-clearing budget in St. John's and the city could spend $5 million more than planned.
St. John's mayor, Danny Breen, released a statement on February 12 about how the snowmageddon is still having a significant impact on winter operations in the city.
Each year, the snow-clearing budget is based on an average winter but when 76.2 centimetres of snow comes down in a single day, it's not your average winter.
For 2020, the money allocated is $17.5 million and because of the clean up from the massive storm, that could be exceeded by $5 million.
That estimate takes into account overtime by staff, snow removal costs from contracts, the expenses of snow-clearing fleets, fuel and other supplies.
Since winter isn't over yet, there is also the potential for more storms to move through the region and cost more money.
"Another key factor is how much the City can recover from the disaster relief assistance provided by the federal government; this number will not be known until much later in 2020," Breen said in the statement.
To address the exceeded budget, St. John's is already looking into options like using the snow clearing reserve of $2 million or reducing other city spending.
The capital of Newfoundland & Labrador wasfor a week after the blizzard hit on January 17.
Businesses were ordered to close, nobody was allowed to be on the roads except emergency vehicles and people were told to stay at home until it was lifted.
Even St. John's International Airport was.
With so much snow coming down in such a short period of time, it's no wonder there's so much money involved in the cleanup.
After the snow stopped falling, people then had to dig themselves out of their own houses and through mountains of snow to get to their cars.
Fleets were also out clearing the roads and Canada's Armed Forces went to help residents.
Lots ofduring the storm and in the days after, like people shovelling snow from their doorways into the bathtub so they could get out, avalanches and a woman going into labour and driving herself to the hospital during the storm on a Skidoo.
Here's hoping mother nature goes easy on St. John's for the rest of the season so they can save some money!