Corner Brook residents concerned about snow clearing on side streets

Corner Brook is known for its heavy snowfalls, but two residents say they’ve been left out in the cold.

Brendyn Creamer

Harvey Road is a designated side street in Corner Brook. Hutchings and Park say that their street is left untouched during heavy snowfalls despite it being next to a street with priority plowing.
Harvey Road is a designated side street in Corner Brook. Kendall Hutchings and Aaron Park say that their street has been left untouched during heavy snowfalls even though it is next to a street with priority plowing. Brendyn Creamer/Kicker

Two Corner Brook residents say the city has not been able to keep up with snow clearing on their street during heavy snowfalls.

Aaron Park lives on Harvey Road, a residential side street. Though the streets adjacent to Harvey Road often receive adequate snow clearing, Park finds that his street isn’t getting the care it needs..

“Any significant amount of snow will just put us to the bottom of the list, and then we can’t do anything,” Park said.

Kendall Hutchings also lives on Harvey Road. She described how on the weekend of Jan. 15, she was unable to leave her house for more than 24 hours because her street was not plowed soon enough after a heavy snowfall.

She said the roads had not been plowed from Saturday evening to late Sunday night. The amount of snow on the street made it impossible to drive.

For Park and Hutchings, a lack of snow clearing can have poor consequences. Hutchings must travel across town for school. Park must travel to Murphy Square for work.

During the aftermath of a storm on Jan. 16, Park had no choice but to walk to work.

“It was still blizzardy out,” Park said. “I had both my coats on, both my scarves on, a hat, gloves,” Park said. “If I worked any farther away, I wouldn’t have made it.”

Kendall Hutchings preparing to shovel her driveway after a heavy snowfall on Jan. 30. She hopes to have this clearing issue resolved before another storm hits.
Kendall Hutchings prepares to shovel her driveway after a heavy snowfall on Jan. 30. She hopes to have her concerns about snow clearing resolved before another storm hits. Brendyn Creamer/Kicker

Challenges of snow clearing

Corner Brook’s snow clearing is divided into seven routes, each maintained by one or two loaders. During heavy snow events, according to the city’s FAQ page, it can take more than12 hours for a plow to come by the side streets.

This is a result of the city’s priority snow-clearing plan. Primary roads that connect to hospitals and schools are the first to be plowed. The plows then tackle the secondary streets.

Side streets are finished last, although it is possible during heavy snowfall that primary and secondary streets will have to be cleared more than once before a side street gets cleared.

Donald Burden, the city’s director of public works, said that they receive numerous complaints after heavy snow events. He said the snow clearing plan is reworked after every winter to adjust routes and to see if more loaders must be added.

Burden said that it is standard for residents to have to wait up to 24 hours after the snow stops for snow clearing, but he believes the plows often come earlier than that.

“I’d be very, very surprised,” said Burden. “I’m pretty confident in saying that once the snow actually stops, people will see a plow after 8 to 10 hours.”

Burden said he was pleased with the city’s snow-clearing efforts but that it has been a tough winter.

“The challenge has been this year with the thaw events,” Burden stated. “The rain makes the snow so much heavier, so much harder to push. It is slowing us down a little bit.”

Though Hutchings sympathizes with the city’s situation, she still finds herself questioning the snow-clearing process.

“I understand,” Hutchings said. ” We’re in the middle of a pandemic; you’re trying to get workers and stuff. But also I have a strong feeling that this has not been just a 2022 problem.”

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.