Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Crews remove snow in Whitehorse on November 4, 2020. With a record snowfall over the winter, the city is recommending a series of measures residents can take now to prevent flooding on their properties from the snowmelt in the spring.

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file Crews remove snow in Whitehorse on November 4, 2020. With a record snowfall over the winter, the city is recommending a series of measures residents can take now to prevent flooding on their properties from the snowmelt in the spring.

Stopping a flood before it happens

As City of Whitehorse crews continue removing this year’s record snowfall from streets around town, officials are also reminding property owners of the steps they can take to help prevent snowmelt from flooding their properties.

Between November and February, about 130 cm of snow blanketed the territory, making it a record snowfall this winter with more that could still come.

In a statement, city officials said when temperatures increase, the melt from the large piles of snow could put some properties at risk for flooding.

The city highlighted a number of steps residents can take to reduce the risk of snowmelt making its way into buildings on their property.

It’s recommended residents move snow away from building foundations and window wells and that snow piles are placed downhill from buildings and in areas that have good drainage. It was also suggested residents remove snow that might trap already-melting snow and, where possible, provide a route for drainage away from any buildings. Downspouts should be free of any obstructions and pointed away from any buildings.

“If your property has a history of drainage issues, then having sandbags and a small pump are useful tools to help prevent flood damage,” the city noted. “Consider hiring a professional to remove snow from your roof or to haul snow away from your property, to an authorized snow dumping area.”

Anyone clearing snow and ice from driveways is reminded to keep it off of roadways, sidewalks or other people’s property and to not pile it against fire hydrants, utility boxes, road signs or over snow drains.

Residents can contact the city if they notice drainage issues on city property. In cases of frozen storm drains, the city’s water and waste services department can be contacted at 668-8250 and for cases related to a blocked ditch or drainage route that could impact private property, the city’s operations department can be contacted at 668-8345.

For non-urgent drainage issues, the engineering department can be reached at 668-8305.

Snow removal is continuing this week with city crews focusing on the neighbourhoods of Downtown, Copper Ridge and Riverdale. The city’s snow removal schedule can be viewed here.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

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