A snowplow clears snow from a parking lot in Whitehorse on Jan. 9. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Whitehorse plows have tough time keeping up with 20-cm snowfall

‘It’s hard to try and keep up while it’s snowing’

Sanders are still on the roads 24 hours a day, but Richard Graham admits it doesn’t feel like it’s made much of a difference after a storm like last weekend’s.

“When it’s snowing as heavy as it was, it’s hard to try and keep up while it’s snowing,” said Graham, acting director of infrastructure and operations for the City of Whitehorse.

“We’ve definitely had a few calls (about it).”

Despite the feeling that Whitehorse is still socked in after last week’s 20-centimetre snowfall, Graham said the city has had all hands on deck.

Five graders, one with an ice blade, and eight dump trucks, four of which can be outfitted with sanders, were dispatched with extra crews all weekend. They remain on the roads this week.

“We are out there. We are running longer shifts where possible while still always keeping the budget in mind,” Graham said. The 2017 budget for winter road maintenance was $3.4 million. The 2018 budget has not yet been approved.

The city’s snow and ice removal policy outlines five priority levels as follows:

1) highways, major arterial roads, emergency routes, major bus routes, and roads with steep grades;

2) other arterial roads, remaining bus routes, major industrial roads, roads in the central business district, roads adjacent to schools and roads to prioritised city-owned facilities, prioritised city-owned parking lots, emergency routes within priority two zones;

3) laneways in Ingram and Whistle Bend, if or when they are used for curb-side collection;

4) all other roads in the city;

5) remaining city-owned parking lots and lanes.

The policy also allows for the city to call in additional assistance (including independent contractors) in the event of severe storms. The last time this happened was spring 2014 when a major snowmelt caused drainage problems.

Graham said dump trucks have removed snow in Copper Ridge and Porter Creek, both of which get a bit more snow than downtown or Riverdale, the latter of which saw its first plow this winter on Jan. 9.

“We’re not going to get to all the side streets right away,” Graham said. “We let them pack down in the meantime so they are at least drivable.… (They) definitely go through a couple of rough days but the sides streets are starting to toughen up, to harden up now.”

Crews are currently focused on clearing residential roads during the day and downtown streets at night.

In the event of a fire or medical emergency where snow makes roads impassable, residents can call 667-2111.

Contact Amy Kenny at amy.kenny@yukon-news.com

road conditionsSnowWhitehorse city council

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Premier Sandy Silver, left, and Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speak at a COVID-19 update press conference in Whitehorse on Nov. 19. On Nov. 24, Silver and Hanley announced masks will be mandatory in public places as of Dec. 1, and encouraged Yukoners to begin wearing masks immediately. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Masks mandatory in public places starting on Dec. 1

“The safe six has just got a plus one,” Silver said.

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, speaks at a press conference in Whitehorse on March 30. Hanley announced three more COVID-19 cases in a release on Nov. 21. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Three more COVID-19 cases, new exposure notice announced

The Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Brendan Hanley, announced three… Continue reading

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: COVID-19 strikes another blow at high-school students

They don’t show up very often in COVID-19 case statistics, but they… Continue reading

The Cornerstone housing project under construction at the end of Main Street in Whitehorse on Nov. 19. Community Services Minister John Streicker said he will consult with the Yukon Contractors Association after concerns were raised in the legislature about COVID-19 isolation procedures for Outside workers at the site. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Concerns raised about alternate self-isolation plans for construction

Minister Streicker said going forward, official safety plans should be shared across a worksite

Beatrice Lorne was always remembered by gold rush veterans as the ‘Klondike Nightingale’. (Yukon Archives/Maggies Museum Collection)
History Hunter: Beatrice Lorne — The ‘Klondike Nightingale’

In June of 1929, 11 years after the end of the First… Continue reading

Samson Hartland is the executive director of the Yukon Chamber of Mines. The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during its annual general meeting held virtually on Nov. 17. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Yukon Chamber of Mines elects new board

The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during… Continue reading

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and — unsurprisingly — hospital visitations were down. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Annual report says COVID-19 had a large impact visitation numbers at Whitehorse General

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

City council was closed to public on March 23 due to gathering rules brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The council is now hoping there will be ways to improve access for residents to directly address council, even if it’s a virtual connection. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Solution sought to allow for more public presentations with council

Teleconference or video may provide opportunities, Roddick says

Megan Waterman, director of the Lastraw Ranch, is using remediated placer mine land in the Dawson area to raise local meat in a new initiative undertaken with the Yukon government’s agriculture branch. (Submitted)
Dawson-area farm using placer miner partnership to raise pigs on leased land

“Who in their right mind is going to do agriculture at a mining claim? But this made sense.”

Riverdale residents can learn more details of the City of Whitehorse’s plan to FireSmart a total of 24 hectares in the area of Chadburn Lake Road and south of the Hidden Lakes trail at a meeting on Nov. 26. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Meeting will focus on FireSmart plans

Riverdale residents will learn more details of the City of Whitehorse’s FireSmarting… Continue reading

The City of Whitehorse is planning to borrow $10 million to help pay for the construction of the operations building (pictured), a move that has one concillor questioning why they don’t just use reserve funds. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Councillor questions borrowing plan

City of Whitehorse would borrow $10 million for operations building

Most Read